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Here is depicted one of the most gruesome and horrible spec- 
tacles known to human history. In the barricaded arena of the 
great Coliseum is the doomed band of Christians grouped around 
the aged patriarch who, oblivious to approaching danger and the 
cruel jeersr of the bloody-minded spectator^, primly commits him- 
self and companions to the care of the Eternal Father. Over- 
hanging the weeping group are the bodies of companions nailed to 
crosses, or encased in oiled bandages and set up as living torches. 
From the dens ItJelbw come the ravenous lions lured by the smell 
of blood and burning flesh, and rendered so desperate by starva- 
tion as to be oblivious to the startling and unwonted spectacle 
before them, and conscious only of the nearness of their helpless 
prey. And all about, in tier upon tier, are tke 87,000 spectators, 
rejoicing in this inconceivably cruel spectacle. Yet this vast con- 
course of people was typical of the highest civilization known at 
that day. In such a scene may be read the inevitable doom of 
the great empire that then ruled the world. 

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History of the World 








From Recent and authentic Sources 



Author of a " CYCLOPiCDiA of Universal History." Etc. 





The Jones Brothers Publishing Company, 

Cincinnati, O. 





A I02d L 


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Jon60 Bvot(ev0 )^SR0$hi^ Company 
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Y the events recorded in 
the preceding Book the 
reader hafl been made 
fully awnre, not only of 
the esisteoce, but of the 
prowess aud enterprise of 
the Hellenic race out of 
(be West The conflict wliich he has been 
eonsidering, terminating in utter disaster to 
the Persian Empire at Arbela, was a crimB in 
the affairs of two great peoples having the 
mme ethnic derivatJou. The Macedonians 
were one of the European developments of 
that same family whose fecundity on the 
plateau of Iran gave us the Persians. Hav- 
ing seen the result of the struggle between 
the two races, we might here at once transfer 
our station to the West, to follow the evolu- 
tion of the Hellenic tribes into nationality, 
from nationality to conquest, and from con- 
quest to decadence. 

Thus far in the present volume we have 
pursued this suggestive method, tracing the 
course of one people until its conflict with 
another people has led us naturally to cnnsiiler 
the history of the latter. Thus the conquest 
of Egypt by the Persians carried the reader's 
attention, first of all, from the valley of the 

Nile to the valley of the Eupbrat«e. l!li« «»• 
quest of ancient Cbaldsea by the AssyriaDt 
next drew his interest from the south to the 
north, from Babylon to Nineveh. Then came 
the conquest of Assyria by the Medes, which 
carried the inquirer beyond the Zagroa, and 
made him acquainted, for the first time, with 
the warlike representatives of the Aryan race. 
His attention was next recalled by the revival 
of the Babylonian Power until what time 
Persia forced her way across Mesopotamia, and 
subdued the larger part of Western Asia. The 
history of this Persian Empire we have just 
considered, and the suggestion of ite cloie 
would carry us naturally in the wake of the 
conquerors to Macedonia and the Grecian Isl- 
ands. This direction we shall indeed pre» 
entiy follow ; hut before the final transfer of 
our historical position from Asia to Europe — 
before descending from this Iranian plateau to 
view the astonishing development of the an* 
cient Hellenic tribes in their archipelago and 
on the main-land of Greece — it remains to con- 
sider the peculiar history of an Empire which 
sprang up, and at length occupied the place 
of Persia on the highlands of Weetern Asia. 
This Empire ia Partbia. Its consideration 
in this connectioD is difficult. The Parthian 



Power did not reach its climax until after the 
successors of Alexander the Great had quar- 
reled and fought themselves into silence. The 
Empire then extended throughout tne period 
which covered the entire decline and extinc- 
tion of the Grecian commonwealths, and lay 
alongside in time with the development of 
the later Republic and Empire of Borne. 
Of the dominions of the latter, Parthia was 
destined to constitute the thu8-far on the East 
Against the Parthian arrows in the far East 
not even the Roman legions could prevail. The 
strong men, the wild warriors of Central Asia, 
held the legionaries at baj, or buried them bj 
multiplied thousands in the desert In ttme^ 
therefore, the consideration of Parthia before 
the history of Greece and Rome is a derange- 
ment of historical relations ; but in plo/oe the 
narrative must be given here. The reader 
will therefore retain his point of observation 
on the Great Plateau, and note the develop- 
ment of the Parthian Empire down to the 
beginning of the second century of our Era, 
before transferring his station to Macedonia 
and the Hellenic peninsula. 

The relations of the Parthian Empire with 
Persia were remarkable, but not without prec- 
edent. We have seen Babylonia revived from 
the grave of ancient Chaldsea. We have 
seen the Persians themselves flourishing in the 
land of the Medes. We shall hereafter see 
many examples of the upspringing of a new 
national growth from the roots of the fallen 
tree of some old nationality. In the present 
instance Parthia may be said to have come 
forth from the ruins of Persia. The Parthians 
had long existed as a distinct people, subject 
to Persian authority. It was reserved for 
them, by their greater vitality, to survive the 
wreck of the other Iranian nations, to expand 
over the ruins of the Alexandrian conquests, 
to establish a true Empire, and to defend it 
through several revolutionary epochs, until 
the drama of Ancient History was closed, and 
that of Modern History begun. It might al- 
most be said that the Parthian Power has 
never ceased until the present time, and that 
the Persian Shah is the living representative 
of Arsaces I. 

At the beginning, then, it will be proper 

for us to connder briefly the Country of ancient 
Parthia and the territories subsequently in- 
cluded in the Empire. This will be followed 
by a view of the people and their civilization ; 
after which the narrative of their civil and 
military career will be given to the beginsiug 
of the third century of our era. The dis- 
tinction must be borne in mind between the 
Province of Parthia proper and the Imperial 
country ruled by the great kings during the 
last century of the ancient epoch. Parthia 
Proper may be said to have corresponded with 
tolerable exactitude to the modem province 
of Khorassan. The position and extent of the 
country can be noted by the reader by a 
simple reference to a map of the Persian Em* 
pire of the present time. The country now 
includes the districts of Damaghan, Sharud« 
Sebzawar, Nishapur, Meshed, 8hebri-No, and 
Tershiz. The length from east to west is 
about three hundred miles, ana the extreme 
width a hundred and twenty miles. The area 
is thirty-three thousand square miles, being a 
little greater than that of Ireland in Europe, 
or the State of Indiana in America. 

The position of Parthia may be defined in 
general geographical terms as lying about mid* 
way between the south-eastern borders of the 
Caspian and the northern shore of the Arabian 
sea. The country had on its western side the 
province of Hyrcania, but the latter was gen- 
erally included under the common name of 
Parthia. To the east and north lay Margiana, 
and to the south and west Sagartia and Sar- 
angia. On the south-east the country was 
bounded by ancient Arya — a name significant 
to all the Indo-European peoples. The reader 
will already have noted that Parthia as here 
defined is not far removed from the primitive 
seats of those tribes out of whose fecund loins 
all the great races of Europe and America 
have been ultimately derived. 

Of the general character of Parthia Proper, 
and of the surrounding regions, sufficient has 
already been said in the description of the 
same countries in connection with Media and 
Persia. The mountain region extending east- 
ward in a chain from the southern extremity 
of the Caspian, branches out into many ranges 
in the Parthian territory; and from these 



brooks and rivers descend into the plains, 
fbmishing a fair supply of water. The soil is 
tolerably fertile, and the climate marked with 
those particular vicissitudes under which the 
energies of the human race are best developed. 
It is probable that the flora and fauna of 
modern Khorassan fairly represent the vegeta- 
ble and animal life of the ancient country. 

It is sufficient to note the great contrast be- 
tween the region which we are considering 
and the deserts north and south. The man 
of antiquity may have well regarded Parthia 
with delight on his escape from the sandy 
waste on either hand. The primitive tribes, 
roaming at will through groves of pine, through 
sloping lands covered with walnut, ash, and 
poplar, by river banks lined with the willow 
and mulberry, may have well chosen this coun- 
try in preference to any that they had found, 
and pledged their lives and barbarian resources 
to its defense. Nor could the winters, extend- 
ing from October to April, severe in snow and 
freezing, prevail to destroy the preference of 
the first Parthians for the country of their 

The situation was favorable for the devel- 
opment of an ancient State, and the character 
of the people conduced strongly to that end. 
We have seen how primeval man at the first 
chose the alluvial valleys and lowlands about the 
estuaries of great rivers ; but the second choice 
of position was those upland regions whose 
beauty of ritoation and abundant resources 
invited the first tribes to rest and settlement. 
In this respect Parthia may be regarded as 
most attractive. In addition to the general 
fruitfulness of the country — its production of 
the native cereals and berry fruits of the forest 
and river banks — the region might well be 
selected for the desert defenses on either side. 
Ntfture has provided for the races of men many 
natural bulwarks, but none superior to a waste 
of desert sand. It is, therefore, likely that for 
long ages before the first authentic annals, the 
country here described was peopled by adven- 
turous and warlike tribes. That they did not 
multiply and develop at an early epoch into a 
great State must be attributed to the fact that 
agriculture was not suggested with sufficient 
emphasis to provoke the energies of the race. 

A mixed life contained the summary, and for 
a long time limited the activities, of the prim* 
itive Parthians. But the mixed life signifies 
a sparse and somewhat fluctuating population, 
and this is unfavorable to the early develop- 
ment of social and political power. 

We have thus far considered only the orig- 
inal province of Parthia Proper, and not the 
character of the countries which were brought 
under the Parthian sway in the times of the 
Empire. We are not here concerned to note 
the political and historical development, but 
only the territorial extension of the primitive 
kingdom. Suffice it to say, that hard after 
the decline of the Persian power came the 
rise of Parthia and the expansion of her do^ 
minions north, south, east, and west. The 
reader will not have failed to detect the name 
of Parthia in several paragraphs of Persian 
history. The country was included for a long 
time within the dominions of the Achsemenian 
kings, and constituted no mean part of the 
Empire of Cyrus and his successors. There 
were times, as we shall hereafter see, when 
the native force of the Parthian race asserted 
itself against the Persian rule, and more than 
one rebellion gave token of what might be 
expected as soon as the Persian Power should 
suffer from foreign violence or fail from in- 
herent weakness. 

That event at length arrived, when near 
the close of the fourth century B. C. the 
Son of Philip, as we have seen in the preced- 
ing Book, ground under his heel not only the 
Mesopotamian countries, but all the dominions 
of the Great Plateau and beyond to the river 
Indus. It thus happened that Parthia had, 
first, her historical relations with the Persian 
Empire ; afterwards, with the Empire of Alex- 
ander and its divisions; and lastly, with the 
military governments established by the Ro- 
mans out of the far West. 

But we are here to note merely the exten- 
sion of territory which came to the Parthians 
by war and conquest. This territorial expan- 
sion first included the adjacent countries of 
Chorasmia, Margiana, Arya, Sarangia, Sagartia, 
and Hyrcania. The provinces and kingdoms 
known by these names were, as we shall here- 
after see, overrun and subdued by the armies 



of the Parthian kings, and were added, one 
by one, to their dominions. The process of 
physical growth was coincident with the re- 
verse process of decay on the part of the 
Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans, in the 
countries of Central Asia. 

The province of Chorasmia bounded Parthia 
Proper on the north, and consisted of a low- 
lying plain between the Parthian mountains 
and the ancient river Oxus. As we have in- 
dicated above, this was for the greater part a 
desert region, capable of supporting only the 
wild tribes of Tura with their flocks. It is 
believed that to the present day the nomadic 
habit of life has prevailed with all the suc- 
ceeding nations that have occupied the country. 
Nor is it wonderful that the sparse peoples of 
such a district should have been conquered 
with ease by the warlike Parthians. 

The country of Margiana was sometimes 
considered as a distinct kingdom, and some- 
times as a province of Bactria. The region 
lay to the north-east of Parthia, and included 
a much more favorable district than might be 
found in Chorasmia. The river Margus carried 
verdure and plenty on its banks, and its waters 
were diverted, in both ancient and modern 
times, by channels and canals and dykes, 
extending for many miles from the principal 
stream. Strabo has given us an account of 
the fertility of this region, and of the extraor- 
dinary fruitfulness of the vine, bending with 
rich clusters on the banks of the Margus. * 

Next among the provinces touching Par- 
thia, and lying on the eastern border of that 
country, was Arya, the little district which in 
the fate and vicissitude of things has preserved 
to modem times the name of our ancestral race. 
This province embraces the ancient valley of 
Herat. The country is mountainous, limited 
in area, not populous, easily subdued by the 
more powerful Parthians in the time of their 
warlike greatness. 

Next in our progress to the south we find 
the province of Sarangia, greater in extent 
than Arya, but hardly stronger in develop- 
ment. Here dwelt the desert barbarians called 
the Sarangse. The region was one of alternate 
hills and plains, not wholly waste, having a 
few small rivers flowing in a south-westerly 

direction. It does not appear that the primi- 
tive Sarangians were a people of great force, 
either in war or in peace, and their country 
was in course of time easily absorbed in the 
Parthian Empire. 

Still skirting the latter country in a south- 
westerly direction, we come to the larger State 
of Sagartia — larger, but at the same time more 
inhospitable, less capable of supporting a great 
population. The ancient tribes were men of 
the desert, living after the manner of Bedouin 
Arabs, subsisting for the most part by the 
capture of such animals as nature had as- 
signed to the sandy waste. The disposition of 
the ancient people was more warlike than that 
of the tribes inhabiting Sagartia and Saran- 
gia; but their armies were never sufficiently 
strong to compete in battle with the Parthian 

We now complete the circuit on the west 
with the province of Hyrcania. As we have 
said above, this country was at times included 
under the common name of Parthia. It had 
the same geographical and climatic character 
with the latter country. It was traversed 
through its major diameter by two valleys 
lying between mountain ridges of considerable 
elevation. The country was well wooded and 
fairly watered. In this respect Hyrcania 
rivaled the better parts of Parthia in excel- 
lence of tree-growth and vegetable products. 
It was said to be a land abounding in shrubs 
and green slopes and flowers — fruitful in many 
things, pleasing to the eye, abounding in the 
creatures of the chase. The country has been 
represented in both ancient and modern times 
as especially prolific in animal life. The trav- 
eler, as far back as the times of Strabo, waa 
pleased with the prospect. In area the province 
was considerably inferior to Parthia Proper. 
Of all the bordering regions of the latter 
country, Hyrcania, however, was the most in- 
teresting and important. It has been urgied 
by Rawlinson and other competent critics of 
the situation, that the place and character of 
both the country and people of Parthia were 
favorable to the expansion of political power 
and the establishment of a widely extended 
rule over the surrounding nations. 

We have now considered briefly the extent 



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and nature of those countries immediately sur- 
rounding the original Parthian kiugdora, but 
have by no means included iu the description 
the wide range of countries beyond — countries 
included in the times of Mithridates in the 
Parthian Empire. On the north-east we have 
first of all the extensive country of Bactria. 
In different ages this region has been variously 
defined. In general, the country so named 
was bounded on the south and south-east by 
the mountains of Hindu Kush ; on the north 
by the Oxus; on the west by Chorasmia and 
Margiana. In the times of the Parthian as- 
cendency, however, Bactria extended north- 
ward far beyond the Oxus Proper to the 
northern branch of that river, skirting the 
mountain range which defined the southern 
limit of Scythia. The country had much of 
the same character with Margiana and Cho- 
rasmia, but was less of a desert, more of a hill 
country, especially toward the east The tri- 
angular apex of Bactria lying among the 

mountains under the meridian of 74^ east 


from Greenwich, marked the uttermost limit 
of the Parthian dominion on the side of India. 
It suffices to say that the country for a long 
time resisted the ambitious of the Parthian 
kings, and it was near the close of the second 
century B. C. before it was included in their 

On the south of the country just described, 
bordered on the west by Arya and Sarangia, 
was the small province of Arachosia, another 
mountain region of similar character to Bac- 
tria, but less severe in climate. It was watered 
by the river Etymandrus and its tributaries, 
reaching far into the highlands on the north- 
east. The country here described occupied 
the southern, as Bactria occupied the northern, 
slopes of the Hindu Kush. The province ex- 
tended through about four meridians of longi- 
tude, and was nearly square, marking the 
extreme south-eastern limits of the Parthian 

Following the boundary of that great do- 
minion to the south-west, we come to the two 
countries of Sacastana and Carmania, the first 
lying south of Sarangia and almost wholly 
desert in character. Carmania is also, in its 
northern part, a desert waste, and on its 

southern border next to (jredrosia, a mounts 
ainous region. Indeed, the whole of the two 
countries just mentioned were in ancient times, 
as they are at present, as little attractive and 
as poorly adapted to civilization as almost any 
region of Central Asia. 

On the west, however, we come to the 
country of Persis, or Persia * Proper, lying 
along the gulf of the same name, a region of 
hills and streams and pleasant prospects. We 
have here reached, against the sea, the south* 
em limit of the Parthian Empire, at its greatest 
estate, in one of the most attractive and inter* 
esting regions of the whole. Persia has been 
already described, not only in its narrower, 
but in it« imperial extent ; nothing need here 
be added as to the physical characteristics and 
possibilities of the country. So also of both the 
Medias, the Magna, and the Atropatdn6. These 
have been amply described in a former Book. 

On the south and west of these great and 
important countries, but still included in the 
Parthian dominion, lay Babylonia and all the 
Mesopotamian countries, bounded by the Eu- 
phrates on the west Here were Susiana, 
Assyria, Adiabene, and all the regions as far 
north as the Armenian mountains. The 
country of Armenia was also included in the 
Empire of Mithridates, but here we reach the 
ultimate limits of that Empire on the west 
Viewing it as a whole, we find it extending 
from the extreme western deflection of the 
Upper Euphrates, in longitude 38® ZV east to 
the meridian of 74® in the Hindu Kush. The 
northernmost limit was on the Oxus, a littie 
above the parallel of 42® N., and the extreme 
southern boundary on the Persian gulf under 
the parallel 27® SC N. The whole extent 
from east to west was hardly less than fifteen 
hundred miles, and the greatest breadth from 
north to south about four hundred miles. The 
geographical area was not far from 450,000 
square miles, being about co-extensive with 
the area of the modern Persian Empire. 

It must not be understood, however, that 
the two dominions — Ancient Parthia and 
Modern Persia — coincided in their bounda^ 
ries. A glance at the two maps will enable the 
reader to note how diflerent were the limits of 
the ancient Empire from those of its modem 



r«preeeDtative. We do not here dwell further 
vpon the physical characteristics and natural 
potency of the countries held under a single 
sway by Mithridates, for the reason that the 
same have already been amply considered in 

the preceding histories of Babylonia, Aflsyria, 
Media, and Persia. We, therefore, pass at 
once to the consideration of the Parthiaos aa 
a people, their institutions, general character 
and manner of life and government. 


HE ethnic origin of the 
Parthian race has not 
been well determined. It 
would appear that their 
arrival in Central Asia 
was somewhat later than 
the incoming of many 
other peoples into that region of the world. 
Doubtless the Chaldseans, the Assyrians, the 
Medes, and even the Persians, antedated by 
several centuries — many centuries in the case 
of the older of these nations — the arrival of 
the Parthians in their ancestral seats. 

We are here close to one of the great 
ethnic problems with which the student of 
history is confronted in the beginning of his 
inquiry. The question is no less than that of 
the origin of the Aryan family of men. His- 
tory is able to trace backwards the movements 
of the Aryan peoples to the region of the 
Bactrian Highlands, but beyond that all is 
mis^ and thick darkness. Did the Aryans 
oome from some other region afar? — some 
country in which they were associated with 
the Semitic or Hamitic family of men ? The 
answer is not apparent. We are, therefore, 
led to begin with the development and migra- 
tions of the Aryan tribes from the region of 
their primitive settlements without the solution 
of the fundamental problem. 

Parthia was not far from the Aryan nidus. 
We may safely ascribe the origin of the people 
to the same source with that of the Persians 
and the Medes. Of a certainty the Parthians 
were strongly discriminated from the peoples 
just mentioned. They had more of the Tu- 
ranian character — fewer of the well-known 
characteristics of the Indo-Europeans as illus- 
trated in the Hellenic and Roman races. So 
^.— Vol. 1—34 

strongly marked were the distinctions just re- 
ferred to, that many inquirers have been disposed 
to regard the Parthians as having a Scythic 
origin. Arrian, among the ancients, declares 
his belief in such a derivation. It can not be 
doubted that there were relations between the 
Parthians through the tribes of Ghorasmia with 
the Scyths beyond the Oxus. It must be ob- 
served that race distinctions fade away some- 
what along the border lines where two fiunilies 
of mankind fret and roll together. Modem 
history furnishes a hundred examples of such 
obliteration of ethnic features along the bound- 
aries of States and nations. 

It was doubtiess so in antiquity, but even 
in a stronger measure. At a time when society 
was unsettied, when the tribal state had not 
yet given place to fixedness of residence, there 
was more frequent mixing and interweaving 
along the selvages of races than even in 
modem times. These circumstances may serve 
to explain the presence of Scythic elements 
among the ancient Parthians. So that natural 
and ethnic causes may be found sufficient in 
number and character to account for the trap 
ditions of the Greek and Roman story-telleit 
who were wont to classify the Parthians with 
the Scythic race. 

We may agree that at the time of the great 
invasion of all central and Western Asia by 
the Scythian barbarians, a larger amount of 
their work and influence remained in Parthia 
than in the other countries which they con* 
quered. The Parthian language shows un- 
mistakably a Scythic infection—just as English 
bears indubitable evidence of the Norman 
conquest. The Parthian vocabulary had in it 
a large addition of Scythic words, and the 
civil and military habits of the people W4 



modeled, to a considerable extent, after thoee 
of the Turanian barbarians. There are at the 
present time certain Teutonic peoples in 
Europe upon whom the Slavs have made a 
like impression, insomuch that their race char- 
acter might be mistaken by even a critical 
observer. How much the more may such a 
mistake be expected in the case of an ancient 
people modified by a foreign influence! We 
must conclude that the Parthians, along with 
the Bactrians, Chorasmians, Hyrcanians, 
Modes, and Persians, belonged to the common 
fiunily to which the name Aryan has been 

The life of the Parthian people, however, 
had much the aspect of that of the peoples 
beyond the Oxus. This is to say that, like the 
Tartar and the Turcoman tribes of a later day, 
the Parthians were nomadic in habit, spending 
the greater part of their time on horseback and 
abroad. The Roman historians, as late as the 
time of the conflict of the Consular armies with 
the Parthian cavalry, were struck with aston- 
ishment at the manners of a people who trans- 
acted the larger part of their business and at- 
tended to all duties and avocations, even to 
eating and drinking, while mounted on their 
horses. It should not be forgotten, however, 
that much of the same disposition was shown 
by the Persians, and the student might, if he 
would, trace this aspect of Turanian life far 
into Asia Minor, and even into Europe. In 
ether particulars also the Parthians revealed 
their innate sympathy with nomadic manners. 
There was little fixedness of settlement, at least 
ntitil a late date, in the Parthian ascendency. 
The old habit of hunting, of riding abroad, of 
gratifying the passion for rapid transit from 
scene to scene, continued to prevail, and at 
length gave form to the organization and tactics 
of the Parthian army. 

It was such a people as these that Cyrus 
the Great met and conquered in the early years 
of his aggressive career. The nation was in- 
corpoi^ted as one of the satrapies of the Per- 
sian Empire, and remained in that dependeuce 
until what time the cohorts of Alexander, ris- 
ing from the West, shattered the Achsemenian 
Dynasty and reduced it to its original elements. 
B^t of the historical development and varying 

vicissitudes of the Parthian race we shaH 
speak more fully hereafter. 

As usual with men of antiquity, the re* 
liglous life of the Parthians presented many 
interesting features, and revealed no small part 
of the national character. We are here, geo- 
graphically and ethnically speaking, not fiur 
from the primitive seat of one of the great re- 
ligions of mankind. Zoroaster was a Bactrian. 
We have already seen how the faith and doc- 
trine which he formulated and taught spread 
among the races of the Great Plateau and be- 
came organic in the Zendavesta. 

The teachings of the great prophet were 
accepted by the Achsemenian kings, and were 
imposed by them as a State religion upon the 
subject nations of the Persian Empire. Among 
these was Parthia. Whatever may have been 
the tribal faith and practice of the old Par- 
thians, they accepted the religion of their con- 
querors, not only in its early singleness but in 
its subsequent dualistic development The 
wild warriors of the Parthian plain came to 
believe in Ahura-Mazd&o as the fountain of 
all Good, and in Ahriman as the source of 
all Evil. 

We have had occasion, in a former chaptjiery 
to trace the rise of this belief and its evolution 
among the Iranic peoples. It was from this 
source that Dualism as a principle of philo- 
sophic belief made its way to the West, became 
interfused with the speculations of the Western 
nations, and at last intertwined itself with the 
opinions and practices of the leading peoples 
of modern times. But it must be allowed that 
dualism — the division of the universe into the 
two parts of good and evil and the creation 
of a hierarchy of the Powers set against each 
other in perpetual warfare, involving the livei 
and actions of men — is a natural growth pe* 
culiar to the human mind at a certain epoch of 
its career. We have seen such phenomena in 
the valley of the Nile, in the valley of the 
Euphrates, and in the highest activity on the 
Iranian plateau. We shall hereafter see traces 
of the same thing in the mercurial intellect of 
the Greeks, in the heavier cogitations of the 
Romans, and in the dreams of the Teutonic 
barbarians in their forest solitudes. But among 
all peoples, the races now under oonsideratioo 



were meet active in the development of such a 
belief and in its dissemination. Zoroaster was 
the abstract and chronicle of the religious 
opinions and philosophical speculations of the 
peoples among whom he appeared. The Par- 
thians took his system and entertained it dur- 
ing their period of ascendency. Indeed, in 
nearly all respects they became the representa- 
tives of the Persians who had preceded them. 

But in the hands of the Parthians, as in 
the hands of the Persians, the Zoroastrian sys- 
tem suffered deterioration. It went at length 
into the form of Magism and idolatry. It were 
difficult to say to how great an extent the 
idolatrous aspect of the Magian cult was the 
result of the revival of the ancient polytheistic 
instincts of the race. Perhaps a part of the 
degeneration may be attributed to this cause, 
and part to the rise of a priesthood. Here 
the history of Parthia could but repeat the 
common story of the mischief always done, 
the havoc always wrought with a national re- 
ligion when it falls into the hands of a priest- 
hood. Then it is that superstition, selfishness, 
foUy, the pride of caste, and the ambition of 
power begin to take the place of the religious 
fervor which marks the earlier stages of devel- 
opment. Henceforth the history of religion 
becomes a history of forms which by their 
growth and inflection quench the glow that 
dwelt in the spirits of the primitive prophets. 

The Parthians fell under the dominion of 
these influences. The Magi soon became a 
powerful caste in the State. Fire, as the em- 
blem of the sun, and perhaps the emblem of 
life, became the object of superstitious adora- 
tion. The elements of nature were held in 
sacred awe. Rivers were worshiped, as were 
many other parts of the material world. The 
superstitions which we have noted in the case 
of the Persians revived among the Parthians. 
The dead might not be buried, but must rather 
be exposed on high in the tops of towers, where 
the bodies might be devoured by the birds of 
the ain After the lapse of a long time the 
bones might be gathered and deposited in 
tombs. The sacred fire must be kept buruing 
by the priests. In short, the whole ritual of 
Magism must Be performed — the ceremonies of 
the fiuth perpetuated by the people. Under 

such conditions, the Magi at one time became 
especially powerful. They were members of 
the National Council, under the Parthian kings, 
and were as haughty, arrogant, and arbitrary 
as they and their class have always been in 
their despotism over society. 

At length, however, Magism fell into a de- 
cline. The high priests lost their hold upon 
the Government. It would appear that a sort 
of original paganism revived, which may well 
remind one in its manifestation of the beliefi 
and practices prevalent on the banks of the 
Tiber and in the German woods. The Sun 
became the principal object of Parthian wor- 
ship. After him the Moon was adored as the 
. divinity of night We might almost transfer 
and adapt in this connection the celebrated 
chapter of the Sixth Book of the CsBsarian 
OmimenJUiries, wherein Julius describes the re- 
ligion of the Teutonic nations. The prevaU- 
ing principle was that those objects of nature 
only were fit to be worshiped by the aid of 
which men. were manifestly benefited. The 
system was thus virtually devoid of specula- 
tion. The Sun did good to men. Therefore 
the Sun might well be worshiped. On a lower 
plane we find the common beliefs of the Aryan 
nations in minor divinities and spirits by whom 
the smaller affairs of life were controlled and 
guided. There were genii of the day-time, 
geuii of the night, genii of the hearthstone, 
the spirits of the fathers, and the Larvae of the 
earth. The system in its last estate was not 
essentially different from that of the Pagan na- 
tions of Europe. 

The men of Alexander took with them inta 
the East the religious beliefs of the Hellenic 
Aryans. The name of the Olympian Zeus 
was heard in Babylon, in Seleucia, in Ctesi- 
phon, in Ecbatana, in Persepolis, in Hatra, 
and in Bactra. Wherever the Greek cities 
were planted, there the mythology of the 
West, with its ample inflections, was founded. 
This invasion of Zoroastiianism and Magism 
the Parthians seem not to have resented. 
As a general fact the Aryan religions have 
been tolerant ; those of Shem have refused to 
know other than themselves. The same prin- 
ciple was illustrated when the Romans became 
the conquerors of the East They also carried 



their religious system, such as it was, to the 
banks of the Euphrates and far beyond. 

Already before this time Judaism had been 
propagated by several means in the Aryan 
countries. At a still later period, when Rome 
was converted to Christianity, the new faith 
was carried under the protection of the eagles 
to the uttermost limits of the Empire. It 
were impossible to say to what extent these 
foreign religious influences permeated Parthia 
and brought her people under their sway. 
Already at the time of the primitive apostles, 
Parthian Christianity had become a fact ; and 
6t. Luke enumerates the Parthians along with 
the Medes and Elamites among the strangers 
gathered in Jerusalem. All this would indi- 
cate on the part of the Parthian monarchs the 
same tolerant spirit which the Greeks and 
Romans were wont to show to alien systems 
of religion. 

One of the chief forms of activity among 
the Parthians was war. It is from their mili- 
tary character that the race is best known to 
the world. Long before the close of the An- 
cient Era the name of this people was heard as 
far west as Rome — and generally with terror. 
Thev it was doubtless whom Horace had in 
view under the name of Medii in the Secular 
Hymn : — 

Now by the sea and on the land, the Mede 
Fears the strong squadrons and the axe of Rome ; 

Now the late haughty Scythian doth plead 
For mild response — and men of India come. 

The reader may, therefore, well be surprised 
to note the fact that this most warlike nation, 
whose fisrce, wild cavalry swept like flying 
clouds across the deserts of the Great Plateau, 
had no fixed military establishment — no stand- 
ing army. It appears, on the contrary, that the 
Parthians, by their disposition and habit of 
life, constituted what may be called a natural 
soldiery. There were two branches to the 
Parthian service, the cavalry and the foot. 
But the first was the important part. Indeed, 
it is doubtful whether the Parthian infantry 
was of much value in the field. It was upon 
the cavalry that the kings relied for victory; 
and the reliance was not misplaced. 

In time of war the Parthian monarch 
caUed upon his vassals to bring forth each his 

quota of warriors for the field. It appears 
that the constitution of Parthian society wa^ 
essentially feudal. The vassal was bound to 
his suzerain in the matter of military service. 
He must call out his retainers and slaves, see 
to their equipment and mounting, bring them 
to the place of rendezvous, and command them 
in battle. It was thus that the army was 
made up of bands of warriors drawn from the 
various districts after the manner of the Cru- 
saders. But a common enthusiasm pervaded 
the whole, and there was no lack of unity in 
the general command. This was reserved for 
the king in person, and for his generalissimo, . 
called the Surena. 

The latter may be regarded as the head 
baron of the country. The office which he held 
hereditary in his family. It is doubtful 
whether even the king could displace him 
from the position in. which he was fixed by 
heredity and custom. The same was in greiit 
measure true of the other vassals. Each com* 
manded in his own right, and held his placa 
at home and in the field in virtue of what may 
be called the Parthian constitution. 

Looking at the organization of the army, 
we find a heavy-horse and a light-horse con- 
tingent. The first was the main branch of the 
service. This wing was undoubtedly the finest 
cavalry of the ancient world. The warriors 
were armed in mail as to their bodies, the scale- 
armor of iron and steel descending as low at 
the knees, well made and strong, polished to 
brightness, capable of resisting any of the or 
dinary missiles of the battle-field. On the head 
was a helmet, also burnished, heavy, and well 
made. The arms and the legs were free, ai 
they must needs be in fighting from the horse. 

The weapons of these Parthian dragoons 
were bows and arrows and a spear. All these 
were long and strong. The arrow was shot 
with such violence that its flight was said to 
be invisible from its rapidity, and scarcely any 
armor of the enemy could protect the wearer 
from its fall. The spear was equally fatal, 
being thrust with a violence which frequently 
impaled two warriors with a single blow. The 
horseman also carried a short sword, which in 
close quarters he drew and used with fearful 
effect. The horses of the dragoons, like their 



rUeift, wjtd a scale armor in battle, having 
the same actuated to their heads, necks, and 
breasts. The light-horse carried bows and ar- 
rows, but were unarmored, and bore no spears. 
The value of this wing depended upon its 
dexterity. Horsemen of this class hovered 
within bow-shot, discharging their arrows with 
great rapidity, wheeling to right and left, at- 
tacking the flank, and manoeuvering in such 
manner as to confuse the enemy. 

The supply-train of the Parthian army was 
furnished by a caravan of camels laden with 
provisions and military accoutrements. It has 
been noted that the Parthians, advancing to 
battle, always carried an abundance of arrows, 
so that literal showers of these missiles might 
be rained upon the enemy. The attack was 
made with the utmost spirit. So far as strat- 
egy was concerned, the same consisted in de- 
ceiving the enemy; in bringing him into un- 
favorable situations ; in cutting off supplies; in 
taking advantage of any temporary confusion 
that might occur, and finally in the furious 
charge directly on the line. This mode of at- 
tack was like a thunder-gust which expended 
itself with the onset. When the flying squad- 
rons came within reach of the adverse lines, 
they began to rain upon them a terrible dis- 
charge of arrows, which was kept up inces- 
santly until the actual shock of combat, when 
the spears, and finally the swords, were used. 
It was the expectation by this means to break 
everything into confusion and sweep the 
enemy from the field. But if the charge was 
firmly met, the battle generally continued for 
but a few minutes after the shock, when the 
Parthians would turn to flight. 

This, however, was a deceptions movement, 
>ntended to draw the *enemy into pursuit. 
The dragoons, as well as the light-horse, merely 
Mcampered out of reach, and immediately 
formed anew. If the foe, unacquainted with 
this manoeuver, should chance to follow, and 
offer by the break of the lines or other for- 
tuitous circumstances any advantage, the onset 
would be immediately renewed by the Par- 
thians in a second charge like the first. This 
manner of battle was on che whole especially 
effective. It is probably true that in the 
whole vast circle of victory and Imperial con- 

quest the Roman legions never met anywhere 
on the frontiers of the world a more dangerous 
enemy than was this same Parthian army. 
Hereafter we shall show in many details of 
campaign and battle the residts of the doubt- 
ful contests waged by Rome with the mailed 
dragoons of Parthia. The fact has been cited 
that in the six great campaigns made by the 
Mistress of the World, into the countries be- 
yond the Euphrates she was obliged in no fewer 
than five to yield the palm to her skillful and 
courageous antagonist 

Several additional facts connected with the 
Parthian method of warfare may be cited as 
of interest to the general reader. The Par- 
thians avoided all military movements, par- 
ticularly battle, in the night Perhaps the 
management of cavalry in the darkness is at- 
tended with greater peril and difficulty than 
are consequent upon the evolutions of in- 
fantry. Moreover, the Parthians did not em- 
ploy fortifications, either for their camp or in 
the field. For the rest, superstition may have 
had something to do with that feature of the 
tactics which required the withdrawal of the 
army at nightfall to a considerable distance, 
and the total avoidance of battle or further 
movements until the morrow. 

For reasons of a similar character the 
winter was avoided as unsuited to campaign- 
ing. We may readily perceive that the sum- 
mer season, as in all other countries and 
conditions, would be regarded as a favorable 
time for those rapid and headlong movements 
upon which the success of Parthian warfare 
especially depended. It was noted, moreover, 
by the Greeks and Romans in their conflicts 
with the Parthians, that the latter could en- 
dure heat and deprivation of water much better 
than themselves — a circumstance which gave a 
not inconsiderable advantage to the warriors 
of the East 

On the other hand, the latter were weak 
in all operations pertaining to sieges and in- 
vestments. In the nature of the case, the 
Parthian cavalry were unable to carry a forti- 
fied position. They appear to have been al- 
most ignorant of the machinery and appliances 
necessary to a siege. The Romans, therefore, 
were comparatively safe in the fortified sta- 



tions which they established on the eastern 
borders of the Empire. But they could never 
be completely at rest in such situations; for 
their supplies were constantly endangered 
by the ceaseless vigilance of the Parthian 
horsemen. Whenever communications could 
be cut off, it became simply a question of 
time when the Romans must come forth and 
take the hazards of the open field in a move- 
ment towards the base of supplies. Such re- 
treats were nearly always fatal. The Par- 
thians, whenever they perceived a move- 
ment of the kind, were on the alert. No 
stragglerhenceforth escaped. On both wings 
and the rear of the receding army a cloud of 
warriors might be seen hovering in the hor- 
izon, and a single misstep of the retreating 
forces was sufficient to effect their ruin. 

Another feature of the Parthian warfare 
was the absence of chariots and vehicles of all 
kinds. Those who could not ride must walk. 
In general, it might be said that the whole 
force was mounted on either horses or camels. 
In rare instances members of the royal house- 
hold, the women and others, were borne after 
the army in chariots. Sometimes the ponder- 
ous bulk of an elephant was seen; but this 
generally marked the presence of the monarch 
or the generalissimo. These important per- 
sonages were sometimes made conspicuous, as 
well as secure, by having their station on the 
backs of trained elephants. In rare cases 
camels were used by the cavalry in actual 
battle; but the Greeks and Romans learned 
that these beasts could be easily disabled by 
sowing tribuli, or iron stars, in the way of their 
spongy feet. 

In the Parthian manner battle was made 
with as much noise as possible. The army 
was accompanied with its musicians, or clamor- 
makers, who in time of the onset beat upon 
metal drums, which resounded over the plains, 
and was answered by the wild shouts of the 
horsemen as they rushed to the onset. The 
charge, as we have said, was at full speed. 
The oncoming of the flying squadrons was so 
rapid that they seemed to the Romans to rise 
out of the earth. As soon as the charge had 
broken upon the legions, the horsemen, if un- 
successful, fled, as we have seen ; but in doing 

so fired backwards. Nor were the enemy able to 
perceive any diminution in the shower of arrows 
until the receding column was out of reach 

Out of the nature of things war brings 
cessation, and finally armistice and treaty. 
These things require formalities. Since war 
was the mood of antiquity, rules for formal in- 
tercourse between belligerents were devised at 
an early day. The Parthians had a well-regu- 
lated ceremonial of the field and for military 
conferences. It was the custom, when they 
desired to confer with an enemy, to go forward 
i'' full sight with unstrung bows. This signi- 
fied a desire to communicate with the enemy. 
The right hand was stretched out towards the 
opposing camp, to signify the wish for a parley. 
When the preliminaries of the conference had 
thus been arranged, the formal representatives 
of the two powers were wont to come together 
on some neutral ground, as on a bridge span- 
ning some boundary stream, and there discuss 
the terms of settlement. Under such circum- 
stances treaties were made. Nor could it be 
said that the Parthians were less faithful in 
the observance of stipulations to which they 
had agreed than were the Greeks and Romans. 
From the former bf these peoples, who in the 
times of Alexander had established them- 
selves and planted their civilization in many 
cities, old and new, throughout the East, the 
Parthians had acquired a knowledge of the 
Greek tongue, and this for several centuries 
was used as the medium of civil and military 
intercourse between them and the nations of 
the West 

It were a mistaken view of the subject to 
consider the Parthian administration in the 
times of the Empire as a government of bar- 
barous principles and methods. On the con- 
trary, it became as well refined as the contem- 
poraneous governments which had in the 
meantime been established by the European 
Aryans. ^ The forms of intercourse were regu- 
lar and enlightened. Embassies were sent by 
the Parthian monarchs to foreign courts, and 
such were received in turn at the Parthian 
capitals. It was the custom of the times to 
send by the hands of international commis- 
sioners presents from king to king as seemed 
befitting to the age and condition. In none 



of theee respects were the Parthian moDarchs 
less scmpulouB than their contemporaneous 
sovereigns in the West. The intercourse be- 
tween Phraates IV. and the Emperor Augus- 
tus was conducted as between monarch and 
monarch of equal rank. Ambassadorial court- 
esies were common, and without disparage- 
ment to the kings of the East The usual 
methods of maintaining international faith 
were observed. Oaths were made and pledges 
given after the manner of antiquity. The giv- 
ing and taking of hostages was one of the 
commonest means of securing good faith and 
the fulfillment of agreements. It happened 
on several occasions that members of the Par- 
thian rojal family were freely sent to Rome 
in pledge of the fidelity of the king to his 
stipulations with the Western Empire. 

If from the consideration of war we turn to 
the peaceful aspect of life and look at the king 
and hb court, we shall find much of interest 
and instruction. True, we are constrained for 
the most part to consider the aspect of this 
royal life in the East through a glass darkly; 
for its manner has been mostly narrated by 
the historians of Greece and Rome and Jewry. 
The Parthians were not themselves a literary 
people, and but few original sources of infor- 
mation are at our command. First of all, we 
may refer to the national amusement, which 
was hunting. After war it would appear that 
the next highest source of interest and excite- 
ment among the people, whether of noble or 
of common rank, was the attack on wild beasts. 
We have seen this trait of character already 
displayed in Assyria and Persia. Nor is it 
needed that we should return to antiquity to 
find a similar passion in full activity. Nearly 
every people, indeed, on its advance from half- 
barbarity to civilization has found gratification 
in the pursuit and killing of wild animals. In 
the first intent the wild beast takes the place 
of the enemy. Its blood is typical of his. 
The fall of the boar under the arrow's flight 
or spear-thrust of the pursuer is next in the 
scale of delight to the fall of the enemy in 

Parthia abounded in wild beasts. On the 
Assyrian borders the lion was found. Hyr- 
?ania was the native lair of tisers so fierce that 

"Hyrcanian" became an epithet descriptive of 
the most dangerous species of that animal. 
Leopards and bears also abounded. The Par- 
thian hunters followed these animals into their 
haunts, and exposed their lives in the contest. 
In course of time, however, when the Empire 
was established, pleasure and excitement were 
sought in a manner more artistic and less dan- 
gerous. Then were constructed the great parks, 
called by the Eastern nations "Paradises," 
wherein animals taken from the forests were 
loosed, to live and propagate their kind under 
the dominion of half-natural conditions. Here 
the artificial hunt was made. The king and 
his companions traversed the paradise, raised 
the wild beast from his covert, pursued and 
smote him after the manner of the ancient 
chase in the wild and desert. 

We may glance at the appearance of the 
king when he went forth as a hunter. On 
such occasions he wore a short cloak, of which 
we find examples on the monuments and coins. 
A helmet protected his head, and in his hand 
he carried the strong bow with the double 
curve, the animal tendon for a thong, and the 
swift arrow against which nothing alive might 
stand. Like hb countryman, the monarch 
went on horseback. Hb person was orna- 
mented in barbaric fashion with jeweb and 
gold. His horse were trappings of the same 
splendid fashion with the king's garments, and 
the attendants were only less gorgeous in their 
apparel, less haughty in manner, than the mon- 
arch himself. 

At the Court another fashion prevailed. 
Here a long robe, like that of the Persian and 
Median nobles, was worn hy the king. The 
insignia of royalty were hung about hb neck. 
A diadem circled hb forehead, and hb ears 
supported rings and jeweb. Like her consort, 
the qu^en-in-chief, preeminent above the harem, 
proud in her ascendency over hundreds of 
concubines which the law granted to the sovn 
ereign, adorned herself in a manner equally 
splendid. She, as well as he, received the 
title of Divine. She, like the king, wore a 
diadem and sometimes a tiara. Not oft^n, 
however, was she permitted, under the custom 
of the race, to obtrude herself into publio 
affairs. More than those of any other of the 




Aryan peoples were the social and domestio 
habits of the Parthians conformed to the man- 
ners of the Orient. Polygamy was the law 
of the land. The harem was the expression 
of the social system in its ultimate analysis. 
All women except the characterless crowd of 
Hetara, dancers, and the like, who followed 
in the wake of the army, were secluded from 
sight They must hide themselves like the 
women of Shem. They must be veiled, that 
their faces be not seen by men. With men 
they must not converse, except with their hus- 
bands in the harem. The sexes were sepa- 
rated at the domestic meal and at the public 
banquet The care of the harem was intrusted 
to eunuchs, after the manner already described 
in the history of Persia. 

We have already remarked upon the small 
intellectual development of the Parthian peo- 
ple, as shown in the absence of literature and 
art. Their learning proceeded as far as the 
mastery of their own tongue and, in the best 
days of the Empire, a very general acquire- 
ment of Greek. It appears that the Parthian 
kings and their subjects were quick to discover 
the superiority of the language of the men of 
Alexander, and were not long in adopting it, 
at least as the speech of their higher inter- 
course. Greek was introduced as the official 
language. The Parthian coins bore Greek in- 
scriptions, and that tongue was, as we have 
seen, used for several centuries in all the im- 
portant intercourse between the Parthians and 
the Western nations. 

Beyond this it does not appear that the 
subjects of Phraates and Mithridates were able 
to progress. Of science they knew not even 
the rudiments. Their interpretation of nature, 
in so far as they were curious to know the 
laws of phenomena, was purely mythological. 
Of sculpture they knew but little, and of paint- 
ing perhaps nothing at all. This is to say, 
that of the higher forms of pictorial art they 
were ignorant, exdiept by incidental intercourse 
with the Greeks and Romans. In these re- 
spects the Parthian race was in striking analogy 
with the Medes and Persians, whose want of 
genius in the particulars here referred to has 
been noted by many critics and historians. 

The activities of the Parthians were thus 

physical rather than intellectual. They lacked 
altogether the imaginative and speculative dis- 
position of the Greeks, and indeed of all the 
European Aryans. The civilization which they 
established was material in the highest degree. 
The nation was not without great force, great 
outward activity, and inner energy; but the 
poetic dream, the imaginative flight, the art- 
istic concept, were things unknown, even in the 
highest development to which the Parthian peo- 
ple could attain. 

In an architectural way the achievements 
of the Parthians were more creditable. It is 
in architecture that physical energies, com- 
bined with the lower forms of ideality, find 
their best expression. We have several in- 
stances in history of peoples who succeeded 
in reaching a fair degree of architectural work 
without attaining to poetry and art. In its 
higher manifestations architecture, of course, 
becomes ideal. It expresses at the last the 
imaginative powers of the human mind, and 
is only secondary in rank to sculpture and 
painting. But in its lower forms it is the 
most material of all the arts. Thus far the 
Parthians were able to proceed in the human 
evolution, and no farther. 

As a rule the Asiatic Aryans have not 
been great builders. We have seen how small 
a thing the Medes transmitted to after times 
as it respects their architectural achievements. 
The Persians, under the AchsBmenian kings, 
rose to a higher level of structural ability. 
In the preceding Book the reader has been 
made acquainted with the palaces and temples 
of Persepolis, and of one or two other of the 
principal Persian cities. But even here we 
fail to note the splendor and abundance of 
Assyria, to say nothing of Egypt and Greece. 
On the Great Plateau the energies of human 
life have always been expended in forms of 
action different from those of closely crowded 
and permanent socL des Lk) those of the val- 
leys of the Euphrates anu the Nile. 

Parthia was not rich in temples or palaces 
or tombs. This is true particularly of the 
Parthian kingdom in the earlier times, before 
the expansion of the nation had resulted in 
the establishment of a great dominion. Hie 
old kings and the primitive nobility were Imu> 



baric in their habits and manDers, caring little 
for fixedness, and not much for visible splendors. 
The consideration of the building methods and 
results in the country is attended with difficul- 
ties from the historical changes to which it 
was subject. The determination of the age 
of a. given ruin is uncertain; so that the in- 
quirer may not well ascertain whether the 
work has been done by the ancient race, in 
the Greek period, under the Arsacidae, or 
under the subsequent Sassanians. It is the 
architecture of the ArsacidsB only which we 
should r^ard as truly Parthian in its charac- 
ter. The remains of those structures which 
were made subsequent to the year 226 A. D., 
must be regarded as the work of a later period. 
Bawlinson has determined the time in which 
the true national building was effected as cov- 
ering about two centuries; namely, the first 
and second of our era. But we must remem- 
ber that the works remaining to us of this 
period were merely the highest development 
of a kind of building which had been culti- 
vated for several preceding centuries. 

The unfixed ness of Parthian society is well 
iUustrated in the fact that the seat of the gov- 
ernment was not established at any one city, 
but was transferred from place to place, ac- 
cording to the preference of the monarch. 
There were thus several Parthian capitals, 
among which there was little preeminence. 
At the time when the Empire was at its great- 
est expansion, the city of Hatra was perhaps 
the most centralized and important place of 
residence for the Great Kings. It is from the 
ruins of this old metropolis that we are best 
able to gather an adequate idea of the ancient 
architecture of the country. By the Greeks 
the city was called Ctesiphon. It was situ- 
ated on the left bank of the Tigris, over 
against Seleucia, the capital of the Seleucidse, 
where the successors of Alexander for awhile 
established themselves. Ctesiphon was built 
by the Parthians across the river from the 
Greek capital, and at length grew into a place 
of importance. With the decline of the Greek 
power in Asia, Seleucia shrank away, while 
the Parthian city was improved and enlarged. 

The founding of this Hatra is assigned to 
Vardanes ; not the monarch of that name, but 

another, whose history has not been deter- 
mined. It appears that the city flourished 
greatly in the latter days of the Parthian Em- 
pire, but declined with the dominion of which 
it constituted one of the principal ornaments, 
only to be revived at a subsequent period by 
the Sassanian kings. In the year 232 A. D., 
when the Roman Emperor Severus overran 
the country, the prisoners out of Ctesiphon 
were estimated at a hundred thousand. 

We are here concerned, however, with the 
character of the architecture of the Parthian 
period. Hatra had the novel characteristic 
of being circular in form. The city was sur- 
rounded by a wall, thick and strong, about 


three miles in cirpumference, and a true circle 
in form. The rampart was built of cut stone, 
strengthened with bastions at intervals of a 
hundred and seventy yards. Outside of the 
wall was a ditch, broad and deep, and beyond 
this was a mole, or agger, drawn around aft^r 
the manner of the ancients. We thus see 
that at the time of the Parthian ascendency 
the building arts and military expedients of 
the West had been introduced to the extent 
of making the capital city easily defensible 
against a powerful enemy. The nomadic in- 
stincts of the race had stooped to the adoption 
of those rational means by which cities are 
protected from assault. 

From north to south across the circle 
formed by the great wall, and constituting an 



arc thereof, was a river channel passing 
through' and furnishing water to the inhab- 
itants. Perhaps the course of the stream had 
been artificially rectified, as the antiquarian 
has found it to be a right line through the 
midst In this respect the city was not unlike 
Babylon, receiving the river through the wall 
on the one side and permitting its outflow on 
the other. There was thus formed two seg* 
ments, a greater and a smaller, within the 
circle of the wall. I& the smaller and eastern 
division were the burial-grounds of the people, 
while the residence portion occupied the greater 
division west of the stream. Here were placed 
ihe public buildings, the palaces of the king 
and his officers and nobles, and whatever 
iemples the religious system of the country 

All these structures have in great measure 
gone down to dust; but enough remains to 
give the antiquarian a correct idea of the 
whole. The ruins have been explored by 
Layard, Fergusson, Ainsworth, and Ross, with 
the same general result as to the character of 
the ancient buildings of the city. Special at- 
tention has been directed to a large edifice 
standing near the center, and considered to 
have been the palace of the king, with perhaps 
an adjoining temple. Around the whole was 
a wall in the form of a parallelogram, having 
the respective dimensions of seven hundred 
and eight hundred feet. The wall was of cut 
stone, and was strengthened at frequent inter* 
vals with bastions like those found in the 
outer rampart of the city. Within this in- 
closure were two courts, the first being open 
and free from architectural remains, and the 
second containing the ruins of the two edifices 
to which we have just referred. 

It is believed that the larger of the two, so 
far as the ground plan was concerned, was the 
less important and imposing. T^^^ has been 
conjectured that this division of the genera! 
structure was intended as a residence for the j 
king^s guard, the minor officers, and servants 
of the court. The second buiiding appears to 
have been the royal residence. It consisted — 
as has been determined by the ruins — of seven 
principal halls lying parallel, opening to the 
east Three of these were of larger and four 

of smaller dimensions. All were arched of 
vaulted. The smaller halls were thirty feet 
in depth and twenty feet in width, and the 
height was thirty feet The larger halls had 
a depth or length of ninety feet, were thirty- 
five £eet in breadth and sixty feet in height 
Into these vaulted and elongated chambers 
light was admitted from the eastern openings, 
which are supposed to have been closed with 
curtains in the times of occupancy. 

The observer standing in front of the struo* 
ture would see a facade of cut stone well laid 
in a great wall from right to left, pierced by 
seven archways, resembling very much the 
entrances to stone viaducts, tunnels, or the 
under arches of bridges, such as we see in 
modem architecture. These arched halls con- 
stituted the great apartments of the palace. 
They were ornamented within, and at the 
further extremity terminated in smaller roomsi 
which were doubtless the sleeping chambers of 
the occupants. In the facade, considerable 
skill was shown by the stone-cutters and 
builders. The seven arches, three of greater 
and four of smaller dimensions, were so ar- 
ranged as to give a pleasing efifect The archet 
were sprung from sculptured pilasters, bearing 
spirited figures, some real and some mythology 
ical in character. In one place a female form, 
floating in air, was represented in a way to 
remind the beholder of the more elegant 
figures thus suspended in the mural decora- 
tions of Pompeii. In several places heads 
were carved in the stone, particularly in the 
keystone, in a manner peculiar to the Parthian 
workmen, but by no means devoid of art 

The side walls of the arched halls within 
were relieved by square pilasters rising from 
the floor to the spring of the vault In this 
part much ornamental work was done. There 
wc^e capitals and ovals' and peculiar carvings 
of several varieties, especially in the line of 
the cornice. Here again, on the capitals of 
the pilasters, were found human heads and 
mythological creatures, some of which were 
trulv remarkable in character, and without 
likeness among any other known sculptures. 
It has been noticed, moreover, by antiquarians 
that the figures in question were all marked 
by a striking quality of spirit and activity—* 


oertaio airineas of life almoBt jocoee io its ez< I 
prenioo. | 

A close examination of the struc- 
ture here before us b^s led to the be- 
lief that the first etoTj, now remaioiDg 
in mine, was Hurmounted by a second 
and perhaps a third story of nearly the 
same height, but of different character 
from the first In these, of course, the - 
arched openings would be wanting, 
their place being taken by windows 
or apertures not unlike what we should 
expect in a modem building. Some 
have gone bo far as to construct restora- 
tions of the palace, giving the full 
fegade of about three hundred feet 
from right to left, and a height of three 
stories. Nor is it improbable that the 
conjecture &irly represents to the eye 
the true outline of the ancient edifice. 
And in this we may not forbear to dote 
the close resemblance of the restora- 3 
don to Uie well-known appearance of | 
the projection of a great railway station o 
in Europe or America. The arche« in n 
the first story correspond to the open- 1 
ings for- the tracks, and the second and r 
third stories above are not unlike the 
■uperstructure of our stations for pas- 

We have already remarked that at 
the bottom or further end of the great 
balls were arranged the apartments of 
actual occupation. Research has shown 
among these the usual divisio'i between 
those assigned to the men and those 
occupied by the women. It is in evi- 
dence that the arraDgements in this 
respect were strictly Oriental, the aim 
being to prevent the tree intercourse of 
the men and the women of the court. 

Something has already been said of 
the adjacent structure, to which anti- 
quarians kave assigned the office of 
a temple. It is not certainly known 
that such was the use of the edifice. 
He ground plan shows a square of 
about forty feet in each dimension. It appears 
that tba building was surrounded through its 
^bol« extent by a hall or passage-way, which I 

was vaulted after the manner of 
the palace. Two windows 

were eo set a 

admit the light into the passage. The dooiv 
way bore a frieze which exhibited some of the 
finest work which the Parthian chisels were 



able to produce. At to the interior apart- 
ment, that also was of a vaulted form above, 
and dimly lighted by a single aperture. It 
baa been noted that the main apartment within 
was devoid of urn amen tation, and from this 
bet the conjecture has been principally formed 
that the room was devoted to religioiu worship. 
The severe spirit of the Iranians did not per- 
mit the religious thought to be distracted from 
the contemplation of the anseen by the inter* 
poution of material forma. 

The present sketch may serve as an outline 
of building at its best estate among the Pa^ 
thians. While the race may not by any 
means be compared in its structural abilities 
with the Greeks, the Romans, or the Egyptians, 
it may well be likened to the Persians and 
Susianians. The work which we have here 
described was on the whole substantially and 
well done. The building material — a gray- 

members of a ^ven family or kindred. The 
work is plain and solid. The subterranean 
apartmenta are of a p.iculiar bell-shape, widen- 
ing to the bottom somewhat after the manner 
of the modern cistern. Such underground 
rooms are carefully walled with stone well 
laid, plain, and substanlial. It is quite likely 
that the vaults were used as a receptacle for 
the bones collected from the towers of the 
dead, where, as already explained, the fleah of 
the bodies had been plucked away and d»' 
voured by the birds of the air. 

It is clear, however, that burial, in tlie 
proper sense, came at length to be pracUced 
by the Parthians. We may well infer that 
the notions of the Babylonians were to soma 
extent adopted by the Parthian people of the 
times of the Empire. At all events coffins am 
found not wholly dissimilar to those of An 
aocient Chaldees, but there is a auffidnot 


brown limestone — was selected of the proper 
quality, and was handled with sliiil. The 
cutting was done with great exactitude. No 
mortar, or cement has been found in any of the 
walls. It would appear that the builders re- 
lied wholly upon perfect work by the chisel 
for the fitting and juxtaposition of the ma- 
terials. Like the builders of Egypt and Baal- 
beo, they relied upon the accuracy of the line 
and the perfection of the work rather than on 
the uncert^n and dubious expedient of mortar. 
We have already remarked that the smaller 
•^^ent within the circular wall of Hatra was 
for the most part a necropolis. The surface of 
this part is marked with many small structures, 
square as to their shape, built of stone, but 
long since fallen into ruins. It can hardly be 
doubted that they were the sepulchres of the 
Parthian citizens dwelling across the river. In 
general, the foundations are about twenty feet 
square, hut are sometimes larger. Doubtless 
flooh structure marks the resting-place of the 

variation from the type to Indicate a (^angs 
of use and manner. Instead of the soK^led 
"dish-cover" vessel, the Parthians employed 
what is known as the "slipper" coffin, so 
named from its resemblance in shape to a 
slipper. Such boxes were of earthenware, a 
blue-green in color, and gkzed and orna- 
mented in the way of finish. They are found 
of all lengths, from three to six feet, are not 
untasteful in form, and are perhaps among the 
most durable sarcophagi ever invented. 

The antiquary, by careful examination, 
has found near the foot of the box an aperture 
evidently designed for the escape of the gasea 
generated in putrefaction. As for the prin^- 
pal opening, that was closed over the face of 
the dead with a lid, which was no doubt 
hermetically sealed in its place. The small 
art of the Parthians sought expresuon on the 
coffio-)id, which was not infrequently adorned 
with figures either suggestive of the life and 
manners of the dead or emblematica] of aome 


of thoM wavering hopes wherewith the livUig 
of all ages have beguiled themaelves iu the 
preeeace of death. 

We have come ia this coDuection to the 
considentioD of such in- 
difl^rant Art as the Far- 
thiftDB were able to pro- 
duce. We have seen how 
UD&Torable on the whole 
the countrjr was for an 
artisdc development, and 
how little genius for re- ' 
production of forms and 
images the Parthian race 
possessed. The remains 
of this people, however, are sufficient to 
■how a certain degree of nethetic perception, 
and a corresponding measure of artistic achieve- 
ment. First of all, we may mention the 
terra-cotta statuettes which are found in the 
ruins of the Parthian cities. Some of these 
Loftus has described with his usaal care. The 
Parthian artist seems to have preferred the re- 
cumbent posture in the subject of his work. 
One effigy represents a warrior reclining at a 
banquet. He wears his helmet, his coat of 
mail, and his greaves. There is evidently 
much truthfulness in the delineation. Female 
figures are represented according to the fituese 
oC things. The figure is draped, aud the 
&ce veiled afler the manner of the East. In 
some instances, however, it appears that the 
infection of Western art had reached to Iran, 
for examples have been found in which a por- 
tion of the person and the lower limbs are 

From these attempts at the representation 
(^tbe highest existing form, namely, the body 
of man, we may pass to the consideration of 
ut«nnlB. These were to a certtun extent of 
artistic outline and finish. The vases and jars, 
mter-jugs and lamps, of the Parthian people 
were of terra-cotta, and were sufficiently well- 
formed to merit praise even in a modern col- 
lection of such otgects. In general, tiie same 
were modeled after the Babylonian pattern, 
being produced on the potter's wheel, and 
hardened by the heat of the furnace, tt may 
be noted in this connection that the larger 
port of the pottery recovered from the Par- 

thian period has been ibund in the sepulchral 
vaults, where, no doubt, food and drink were 
placed by the hand of that superstitious af- 
fection which was stretched out by all the an- 

cient peoples over the burial-place of the 

From utensils we may pass to personal 
decorations. These were many, and not iO' 
elegant. We have already referred to the 
triple necklaces worn by the kings and queens, 
and doubtless by the nobility. The diadems 
of royal personages were adorned with jewels. 
Ear-rings and finger-rings appear to have been 
generally worn by both men and women. 
Beads and bangles were of the fashion, as were 
also armlets, wristlets, anklets, and the like. 
The toes were ofteu adorned with rings. In 
the manufacture of ornaments the Parthian 
smiths employed the precious metals, as also 
copper and brass. Another kind of personal 
ornament much in vogue, especially among 
the nobility, was the band of gold which 
was made to depend from caps aud mitres 
in the style of modern ribbons. The infer- 
ence of great personal pride may be deduced 
from the universality of adornments for the 
person - 

It is the decision of antiquaries that not 
more than a half dozen authentic examples of 
Parthian bas-reliefs have been recovered. 
From these the opinion of the modem readet 
must be formed relative to the extent and 
character of Parthian sculpture. On the Bock 
of Behistnn one of tliese examples is found. 
It conBists of a procession of figures moving in 
one direction, somewhat after the manner of 
the procession on the frieze of the ParthencHL 
Some of the figures are on foot, but the rest 
are mounted, and are riding with lance at rsBtt 


evidently in tiie charge of battle. In one part 
a flying figure appeare, which is tiiought to 
repreaent Fame or Victory. The attituiie of 
both men and horses is spirited, and it in be- 
lieved that the work, before the decay which 
has come through centuries of exposure to the 
elements, was of a high order of artistic merit. 
It has been observed, however, that there are 
discrepancies io the design, aa for instance, *he 
circlet, or diadem, which Flying Faroe l.olds 
over the head of the warrior is altogether too 
targe, being sufficient to cover bis whole figure I 

another example of such art is that of ■ 
mounted hunter engaged in conflict with a 
hear. His spear is at the animal's throat 
His horse rises and the bear rears on his bind 
legs for the final struggle. The work is rudely 
done, but the design is true to nature and 
marked with much spirit The figure on 
horseback presents a wonderful beard, curled 
into a puff surrounding all the lower part of 
the fiu», and balanced behind with a cor> 
responding protuberance of the htur. The 
bear much resembles an American gritsly hi 


But this is, as Hamlet might say, to consider 
the question " too curiously. " 

Other bas-reUefs have been discovered in 
various places. A favorite subject was the 
horse and the man. One work of great value 
uid merit represents a Magus, or High Priest, 
in the oracular attitude. At his right hand is 
the cone burr. He is in full robe of office. 
He wears a mitre that might almost have 
suited one of the roedUeval Popes. His hair is 
worn long, and is curiously dune into a broad 
puflT extending laterally on both sides at the 
back of the neek as fiur aa the iihft'i '"<"■- titiU 

his form and attitude, and the htmt«r eeenw li 
be clad as a man of the arctic regions. 

On the whole, however, and to sum up re- 
sults, it might almost be said that the Parthiana 
were a people wholly inartistic in taste and 
habit No doubt a single Greek town of the 
second or third class, in the times of the Hel- 
lenic ascendency, exhibited a lalger range of art 
work, whether of the chisel or the brush, than 
did the whole Empire of Mithridates spread- 
ing through many lands, from the little prin- 
cipality of Osrhcene in the upper bend of the 
JjiBfltiateB ui ue suumuta of the ffindu Eiub. 


Chapter xxxv.— Civil and military annals. 

we have said in the pre- 
»dmg chapter, the tribal 
listory of the Parthiaus 
is lost in the luiat aad 
ilatance. Nor need the 
reader of thi present age 
;uUivat« the anxious 
apirit relative to the origiD of the migrations 
and the wild nomadic life of a primitive peo- 
ple so far removed in time and place from all 
the interests of the world that now is. Cer- 
tain it is that the Parthians were little known 
to the Semitic peoples, as is evidenced by the 
&ct that the name is not found in the He- 
brew Scriptures. 

We have already spoken of the Aryan or- 
i^ of the Panhiao people and the probable 

intermixture with them of the Scyths. Their 
first emergence into historical view is in con* 
nection with the story of the Persian Empire 
at that juncture when the Peeudo-Smerdis at 
tempted by false pretensions to gain possession 
of the throne. The narrative of that inter- 
esting episode in Persian history has already 
been presented. At the time of the conspiracy 
the Parthians revolted and upheld the cause 
of Smenlis against Darius Hystaspis uutil 
what time both they and the Pretender were 
put down. 

From this circumstance we learn that at 
this time — namely, In 521 B.C. — Parthia waa 
a province, or satrapy, of the Persian Empire. 
It appears, indeed, that Hystaspes, father of 
Darius the Great, held the ofiSce of satrap of 




Parthia at the time of the Smerdian revolt. 
He, of course, supported the claims of his sod, 
as did also the majority of the other princes. 
But the Parthians, in league with mauj from 
the adjacent provinces in the North, strove to 
overturn the throne, suffering severe reverses 
in the field, losing in a single engagement, ac- 
cording to the reckless estimates of antiquity, 
about eleven thousand men. Thus much may 
be gathered from the inscriptions on the Rock 
of BehbtuQ. 

We thus arrive at the existence of Parthia 
as a division of the Empire of the Persians. 
After their suppression and punishment for 
revolt in the interest of Smerdis, the Par- 
thians accepted Darius, and remained loyal to 
the succeeding AchsBmenian kings. Their 
history becomes the common history of Per- 
sia down to the time when the complication, 
existing for more than a century between the 
Great Kings and the commonwealths of Greece, 
was cut by the sword of Alexander. 

It is not needed in this connection to review 
the work of the Conqueror as he passed from. 
Europe into Asia and traversed that continent 
through a distance of two thousand miles. 
Persia was now in the ascendant over all the 
East. Her dominion was accepted by many 
peoples and nations. Alexander, by the acute- 
ness of his genius, perceived that his object- 
ive point was the court of Babylon, that the 
overthrow of Darius would be a universal 
victory, and that the subject nations would, 
with the master stroke, fall asunder and ac- 
cept himself instead. 

The event was as the expectation. Arbela 
ended all. With the life of Darius went out 
the dynasty and the whole cycle of ideas 
which it represented. True, Alexander deemed 
it important to continue his expeditions north, 
south, and east, until the subject nations were 
taught by ocular demonstration the futility of 
opposition to his will. One of his campaigns 
was directed against Bactria. In the prosecu- 
tion of this, passing from the Tigris to the 
hostile country, he must needs traverse Par- 
thia. But it does not appear that the Par- 
thians had refused to accept the results of Ar- 
bela. Little, perhaps nothing, is said of any 
resistance on their part to the Conqueror's prorr. 

ress. To them, as to so many others, the 
event was but a change of masters. 

The reader of the present age is many times 
astonkhed at the rapid and spectacular trans- 
formations of antiquity — this for the reason 
that he does not apprehend the civil and so- 
cial condition of the ancient world. The Per- 
sian Empire, for instance, was not closely 
enough bound in its parts to constitute a 
Staatenbund, much less a consolidated union 
of nations. Each satrap was a feudatory, 
holding loosely under his suzerain. To strike 
down the latter was to break the nexus of the 
whole, and to deliver the provinces back to 
local independence. But the condition was 
such that the establishment of another nexus 
was easy, if not necessary. 

Thus for two centuries we contemplate 
Parthia as a satrapy of the Persian Empire, 
and then behold its transference to the Son 
of Philip and his successors. It is sufficient 
to note in this connection that the country of 
Parthia proper was, under the Persian kings, 
at first associated for governmental purposes 
with Chorasmia, Sogdiana, and Arya. In the 
second stage Parthia was bound up with Hyr^ 
cania into a single province, and it is probable 
that the two were held as one at the time of 
the conquest of the Empire by the Macedo- 
nians. By that event Parthia, without other 
serious changes, was subjected to a Greek ad- 
ministration under officers appointed at the 
first by Alexander himself, and afterwards by 
his successors. 

In order to follow the history of the coun- 
try we are obliged in this place to enter again 
that distracted epoch which succeeded the death 
of Alexander the Great. We shall hereafter, 
when we come to narrate with particularity 
the partition of the world among the Greeks, 
describe the wars, the tumults, and the trans- 
formations by which the quadripartite division 
of Asia, Eastern Europe, and South-eastern 
Africa was eff*ected. For the present it b suf- 
ficient to present an outline of that part of 
the field with which the destinies of Parthia 
are concerned. The four Powers to which we 
have just referred — as determined by war and 
compromise among the successors of Alexan* 
der — were Macedonia, Egypt, Asia Minor, and 



Syria. The lut named was misnamed ; for 
the dominion so-called had, at first, but little 
respect to Syria Proper. On the contrary, it 
included all of the Alexandrian conquests in 
South-western Asia. It was by far the most 
extensive and important part of what had 
been taken by the Son of Philip ; and it is 
with this so-called Kingdom of Syria that we 
are here concerned. 

Conadered from the style of dynasty estab- 
Bshed over it, the same was known as the 
Kingdom of the SELEUCiDiB, so named from 
Seleucus Nicator, founder of the line of sov- 
ereigns referred to. As for Seleucus, he had 
not at the division of the Empire received a 
portion, but he was at length appointed satrap 
of Babylon, and from that position soon rose 
to preeminence in the East In this relation 
he served under Antigonus, to whom the King- 
dom of Syria had been given. But having 
aroused the jealousy of the king, Seleucus fled 
to Egjrpt, and put himself for a season under 
the protection of Ptolemy. At length the 
Greek monarchs of the three western divisions 
of the Macedonian Empire banded against the 
king of Syria. When this confederacy was 
formed, Seleucus first recovered his office as 
satrap of Babylon, and in that relation joined 
the Western mojoarchs with his forces on the 
field of Ipsus. It was by the battle so named 
that the subsequent destinies of Western Asia 
were for a long time determined. A new di- 
vision, being a modification of that already in 
existence, was made by the victors, and Seleu- 
cus received for his part all of the Asiatic con- 
quests which had been achieved by Alexander, 
with the exception of Lower Syria and Asia 

No sooner had this result been achieved 
than Seleucus was able to look around and 
view with complacency his dominions. These 
included Upper Syria, Mesopotamia, parts of 
Cappadocia and Phry^, Assyria, Media, Baby- 
lonia, Susiana, Persia Proper, Carmania, Sa- 
gartia, Hyrcania, ParOAa^ Bactria, Sogdiana, 
Arya, Zarangia, Arachosia, Sacastana, Gedro- 
ria, and the hither parts of India — and to 
these was presently added Armenia on the 
west The Imperial realms here defined in- 
cluded a million two hundred thousand square 
N.—Vol I— as 

miles, from which, after deducting the waste 
and desert parts, about eight hundred thousand 
square miles of valuable and fertile territory 

It now devolved upon Seleucus to choose 
his capital and organize his Government. In 
this connection the cities of Mesopotamia, fa- 
mous in ancient story, would naturally suggest 
themselves. There on the Lower Euphrates 
was Babylon, which Alexander himself had 
preferred as the seat of his dominion. On the 
Upper Tigris was Nineveh, or the site of Nine- 
veh, equally well situated for a capital of em- 
pire. For a short season the former was 
chosen ; but Seleucus for some reason weazied 
of Babylon, and determined to build a capital 
of his own. For this he chose a site about 
forty miles distant to the north-east, on the 
right bank of the Tigris, and there laid the 
foundations of Seleucia, which soon sprang \xi\m 
importance and grandeur as the seat of central 
interest for all of South-western Asia. 

Here then was founded the Kingdom of the 
Seleucidse, under auspices favorable to perma- 
nence and grandeur. But it was not long 
until Seleucus made the fatal mistake of aban- 
doning the position which he had so well chosen 
in Mesopotamia and seeking another and lees 
favorable capital in the far south-west, on the 
border of his Empire. 

It would appear that Alexander and his 
successors fought against the law of nature in 
their attempt to carry European institutions 
backwards across Asia. There is certainly an 
irresistible cosmic force which draws men to 
the West. The historical drama constantly 
shifts its scene in the direction of the setting 
sun. There was doubtless a time in the past 
when Babylon itself was a young and progress- 
ive municipality in the West. A large part 
of ancient history is concerned with the pro- 
cesses and vicissitudes by which the central 
energies of human power were transferred from 
Babylon to Rome, just as a large part of Mod- 
em History has covered the details of the 
movement from Rome to London. There is 
something in nature, there is something in man, 
there is much in the correlations of man and 
nature, which propel civilization in the direc- 
tion indicated and makes it almost impossible 

384597 ^ 

400 . 


to replant eastward the aggressive societies and 
institutions of the West 

The men of the Alexandrian epoch found 
it so. Perhaps no valid reason could have 
been assigned bj Seleucus for yielding his 
vantage on the banks of the Tigris and trans- 
ferring his seat of government to Antioch, in the 
valley of the Orontes. Whatever may have 
been his motive, the policy was fatal to the 
maintenance of a European dominion in South* 
western Asia. The king, by the removal, re- 
associated himself with the contentious and 
contending successors of Alexander in Mace* 
donia, Egypt, and Asia Minor. He was at 
once reinvolved with them in those wars which 
were destined to continue until what time the 

must sooner or later lose him all his Eastern 
provinces. Alexander had, against the preju- 
dices of his own countrymen, adopted the 
policy of uniting the ruling classes and native 
princes of the East with himself. He had 
encouraged to a great extent among his officers 
and men the formation of zrarriage unions and 
other alliances by which the conquered peoples 
might come to regard their interests as identi- 
fied with those of the Conqueror. He had 
deliberately called to his aid the princes of 
the subject Asiatic provinces, reappointed them 
to their places, conferred honors upon them, 
and made them secure under his authority. 
While this policy had left behind much bitter- 
ness on the part of the adventurers who had 

I. SBLBUCUS I. (Nicator) B. C. aSo. 
2. ANTI0CHU8 I. (Boter), 261. 
8. Antiochub II. (Theos), 246. 


& 8BLIU0U8 m. (Ceraunus), 228. 

4. 8BLBUCU8 II. (Gallinicus), 226. 

Antiochus Hlemx. 

6. Antiochus III. (The Great), 1S7. 



Kings Dombered in order of auccesslon, 

til us, 1,2,8, etc. 

Regular iescent indtcnted thus . 

Doubtful or spurious descent, thus, ..^^ 
4rablc numbers after names Indicate 

date of death or dethronement. 


7. Srlkucus IV. (PhUopator), 175. 8. Antiochus IV. (Epiphanes), 164. 


9. Antiochus V*. (Eupator), 162 

10. Dbmbtrius I. (Soter), ISO. 

12. DnoTRius II. (Nicator), 125. 14. Antiochus VII. (Sidetea). 128. 

11. Alezandbb Balas; 146. 
18. Antiochus VI. (Theos), 142. 

16. Antiochus IX., 95. 
18. Antiochus X., 83. 

15. Antiochus V II. 17. SrliucusV., 20. Demetrius III., 21. Antiochus XII., 60. 
(Grypus). w6. 94. 88. | 

I 22. Antiochus XIII.. 65. 
19. Antiochus XI., 85. 

Mistress of the World should, from her seat 
on the Tiber, stretch out her scepter over all. 

But we are here concerned rather with the 
actual course of events than with speculative 
views concerning them. The withdrawal of 
the capital of the East from Seleucia to An- 
tioch left the Asiatic nations without the visible 
presence of the master. It left them to the 
suggestion of conspiracy, revolt, and independ- 
ence. Worst of all, it left them to the domi- 
nation of corrupt satraps, who resumed the 
manners and methods of the past, extorting 
from the subject peoples whatever might be 
gained by excess and tyranny. 

For Seleucus had in the meantime com- 
Biitted another administrative error, which 

hoped to revel in all the spoils of conquests- 
while it had in many instances alienated the 
home Government of Macedonia — it had nev- 
ertheless secured to the Conqueror the regards, 
the confidence, and even the affection of peo- 
ples and races whom he could not otherwise 
have bound sincerely to his interests. 

At the first his successors followed in a 
feeble and uncertain way the policy of their 
great leader. But their weakness and cupidity 
soon prevailed, and they began to promote Eu- 
ropeans in the place of native princes. This 
method was fatally adopted by Seleucus on his 
withdrawal to Autioch. He set Greeks in 
authority over the Asiatics, as if to say that 
his security in the East depended upon Euro- 



peoD rather than Asiatic support. It may 
be doubted whether hia governors tbemselves, 
choMD henceforth from the small European 
contiDgent, were more loyal, more devoted to 
the king thau would have been the native no- 
blemen of Asia; and as for the subject peo- 
ples, all sympathy betweea themselves and 
their rulers must at once have been destroyed. 

We thus see the head of the Syrian king- 
dom of the Greeks establishing himself in 
leisure aud pleasure at Antioch, little legardiog 
the concerns of the East. The Mesopotamian 
countries and all beyond were left in charge 
of their European governors. Seleucus him- 
self gave bis attention to Western affairs, in- 
terfering in Egypt and Asia Minor, according 
to the caprice of the day. Seleucus reigned un- 
til the year B. C. 280 when he was assassinated 
at Lysimachia. He left his crown to hia son 
Antiochus I., called Soter, second of the 
Seleucid princes. The latter pursued the same 
policy with his father, and became involved in 
the same troubles. The administration of the 
East was continued in the same manner, was 
attended with the same dangers, and that of 
the West was distracted with like quarrels 
and battles, until, after the space of Dineteen 
years, Autiochus Soter was slain by a Oaul, in 
a conflict near Ephesus. 

The crown next descended to Antiochus 
IL, surnamed Theoe, who, during the ten 
years of his reigu, was engaged in almost con- 
stant warfare with Asia Minor and Egypt. 
The history of all three reigns, covering the 
period from the accession of Seleucus, in B. C. 
801, to the death of AnIJochus Theos, in 
B. C. 250, has a common fealurp— that of 
neglect of the East and needless complication 
with the affairs of the West. 

During this period, the old kingdom of 
Parthia, reduced for centuries to subordination, 
6rst to Persia, afterwards to the successors of 
Alexander, lay in comparative obscurity. But 
the time had now arrived for an emergence 
by rebellion into light and life and action. 
At this epoch the actual history of Parthia as 
an independent power begins. All the rest is, 
as it were, the settiug of the picture. From 
this *'imd forth the movement, first toward free- 
dom, and then to greatness, is rapid and direct. 

The administration of Antiochus the Ir- 
vine was of precisely the kind to furnish 
the opportunity and the suggestion of a revolt 
About six years before the conclusion of bis 
reign, Tbeodotus, or Diodotos, the Greek 
satrap of Bactria, perceived in the distance 
between himself and Antioch and in the ef- 
feminate adrainiatration of the king the hint 
of successful rebellion. He accordingly at 
once threw off the yoke, gave himself the title 
of Basikus, and entered upon an independent 
administration. Thus did Bactria lead the 
way in renouncing the sovereignty which had 
been accepted since the Alexandrian conquest. 
It appears that Antiochus bad neither the am- 
bition nor the courage to chastise his rebellioua 
governor, and Tbeodotus was accordingly per- 
mitted to take bis undisturbed course to ind» 
pen de nee. 

The example was contagious. The neigh- 
boring satrapies felt the shock of the Bactrias 

revolution, and soon adopted a similar n 
Parthia was the first to follow in the wake of 
the neighboring revolt. In this country, how- 
ever, the movement took on a wholly different 
character. In Bactria the revolution could 
hardly be said to be national. The Greek 
governor was simply permitted to raise him- 
self to the rank and title of king; but in 
Parthia the revolt had a different souroa 
Here the spring of action was a national sea 
tinient against the rule of the Europi^aus in 
any form. The feeling was against the Greek 
Dynasty in loto, so that instead of following 
the lead of the governor in making himself 
independent of Antiochus, the Parthians rose 
against the governor himself, and the whole 
system of foreign domination which he repr» 
sen ted. 

The circumstances and details of the revolt 
have been differently told by different authore. 
It has been narrated that a certain Arsaobs — 


which name the leader of the revoluttoii oer- 
taialy bore — appeared out of Bactria, from 
which country he had fled from the jealousy 
of Theodotus. Ctiming into Parthia, he in- 
duced the people to accept him for their leader 
in a rebellion against tbeir own Greek gov* 
emor. Successful in this, he was made king 
of Parthia and founder of the dynasty. 
Another account says that Fherecles, satrap 
of Parthia under Andoclms the Divioe, of< 
fered an insult to Arsacee, who, according to 
this tradidon, was a native Parthian, son of 
Pbriapites, and that he — Arsaces — and his 
brother Tlridates drew five of their feUow- 
noblemen into a conspiracy and' slew the 
•atrap. This done, the people were easily in- 
duced to rise and throw off the foreign domi- 
nation altogether. They then chose Arsacea 
for their Icing. Still another account makes 
Arsaces to have been a Scythian of the nation 
called the Dahn, who came by hoslile invanon 
into Parthia, overthrew the Greek government, 
and made their leader king. 
It is sufficient for historical pur- 
poses to eay that the rebellion 
against the Greeks was led by 
a patriot named Arsaces, who 
coii.«fAM*ci.i. wag perhaps of Scythian extrac- 
tjou ; that the foreign officers were expelled ; 
that the pride of the nation was gratJBed by 
the success of tfie iDsurrection ; and that its 
leader was made king of Parthia, with the 
title of Arsaces I. These events are assigned 
to the year B. C. 256, but some have moved 
the event forward to 250, being the year of 
the deith of Antiochus Theos. 

The accession of Arsaces and the founding 
of the Parthian monarchy were not wholly 
peaceful. The expuldon of the Greeks from 
the country — the suppression of their in- 
fluence — was not of easy accomplishment 
The Greek capital, Hecatompylos, built by 
Alexander, had been peopled in the first place 
by Macedonians and other men out of the 
West These and their descendants would, 
out of the nature of things, resist the revolu- 
tion and strive to regain their ascendency. 
The party of the late govemmeut, great or 
■mall, would follow the counter-revolution. 
Anaoes, therefore, had to make battle with 

the malcontents, and to put them down by 
force of arms. Nor was he able to give per- 
fect quiet to the kingdom before his death, 
which came by a spear-thrust in the side, in 
the year B. C. 247. 

The crown descended to Tirioatbs, brother 
of tbe late king. But he took fur his title 
ArsBces II., and is generally referred to by that 
name. It appears that the name j4rRaces was 
at once adopted as the desigoative title of the 
Dynasty, which is thus known in history as 
the ABaACiD^x. It remained for the second 
king of this great house to pnimote, establish, 
and defend the kingdom planted in weakness 
and uncertainty by bis brother. His reign 
lasted for over thirty years, during which time 
Arsaces II. fully justified the expectations of 
his country. The boundaries of Parthia were 
enlarged. It was fortunate for the monarchy 
that so stroug a character Was at its head, for 
scarcely was the king established In power 
until all of his energies and resources were 
needed to protect the nation from conquest 
It was at this juncture, namely, in B. C. 245, 
that Ptolemy Euergetes, of Egypt, warlike 
and ambitious, led an army into Asia, entered 
the kingdom of Syria, overthrew Seleucus 
CallinicuB in battle, captured Antioch, and then 
mode an expedition into Mesopotamia — as 
though he would recover the whole Empire of 
Alexander. The major countries in his path 
yielded with little resistance. Babylonia, Su* 
siana, Assyria, Persia, and Media went dOwn 
successively before tbe invader. Indeed, the 
restoration of the Asiatic dominion was com- 
plete, with the exception of Bactria and 

Tiridates thus found his kingdom threat- 
ened by a new conqueror, between whom and 
himself an unequal contest must be waged — 
on his own side for existence, and on the 
side of Ptolemy for Empire. But destiny had 
prepared a different event. While Ptolemy 
was engaged in rapidly reconstructing the 
power which Seleucus had permitted to go U . 
wreck, his attention was suddenly recalled to 
Egypt In that country a rebellion had 
broken out, and the king was obliged to hurry 
back to Africa, lest his losses at home m^ht 
be greater than bis gains in Asia. The gr«at 




campaign which he had made with so much 
apparent success became, historically consid* 
ered, a campaign and nothing more. The 
(Countries which he bad conquered regained 
their independence with the withdrawal of 
the Egyptian army, and South-western Asia 
resumed her former aspect. 

But the lesson of the expedition was not 
lost on Tlridates. He could but observe with 
what ease the countries through which Ptolemy 
had passed had been subdued. The wings of 
his own ambition fluttered at the prospect. 
Why should not a Parthian king make suo* 
eessful warfare in the neighboring countries f 
He accordingly organized an army, marched 
into Hyrcania, overran the district, and added 
it to his own dominion. This was an act of 
direct aggression on the kingdom of Syria. 
Hyrcania was a satrapy of that Power, and 
Seleucus Callinicus must either yield ignobly 
to the aggression, or else fight for the recovery 
of the province. Thus were prepared the 
antecedents of a conflict between the Parthians 
on the one side and the Graeco-Asiatio kings 
on the other, which was destined to be trans- 
mitted to the Romans, and By them perpetuated 
for several centuries. 

For the moment, however, Callinicns was 
unable to attempt the punishment of his 
enemy. The king of Syria had a brother, 
Antiochus Hierax, who troubled his dominions 
in the West and paralyzed the powers of the 
kingdom. But at length an accommodation 
was reached between the two brothers, and 
Callinicus found himself ready for his eastward 
expedition. It appears that by this time the 
Parthian cavalry had diffused a wholesome 
fear of itself throughout South-western Asia. 
At all events the Syrian king deemed it pru- 
dent to approach the enemy with the support 
of an ally. He accordingly drew the king 
of Bactria into a league with himself against 
Parthia — a thing most unnatural and most 
dangerous to the latter kingdom. 

Callinicus then advanced to the conflict, 
which Tiridates was not well able to enter. 
Courage was not wanting, but an adequate 
force to contend with the combined armies of 
Syria and Bactria. The Parthian king found 
H necessary to recede before the enemy, and 

to fall back into Scythia, beyond the Oxus. 
Parthia was penetrated by the foe, and it ap- 
peared superficially that the independence of 
the country was at an end. At this juncture, 
however, Theodotus died, and the crown de- 
scended to his son, more patriotic than hb 
father. Tiridates succeeded in detaching the 
new king of Bactria from the unnatural 
league, and brought him into alliance with 
himself. The situation was so changed by 
this event that Tiridates was able to meet 
Callinicus in the field. A decisive battle was 
fought, in which the Syrian army was routed 
and driven from the country. 

This success was perhaps the critical event 
in the early hbtory of the Parthian Kingdom. 
It was regarded by the people as the definitive 
achievement of independence. The day of the 
battle became the day of the nation, and was 
commemorated after the manner which peo* 
pies in all ages have adopted in preserving 
and transmitting the story of their liberty. 
Nor was the effect of the victory to be disre- 
garded as it respected the other countries of 
Asia. The final delivery of Parthia by suo* 
eessful battle from the dominion of the Greek 
Kingdom of Syria was an example to the other 
Asiatic States. It showed that the successors 
of Alexander, in so far from being invincible, 
might be repelled by valor and constrained by 
overthrow to confine themselves to the borders 
of the Western seas. Henceforth the discern^ 
iug eye might discover the unmistakable symp- 
toms of the coming of a native Asiatic Empire 
in the place of the vast dominion established 
by the Son of Philip. 

The critical events to which we have just 
referred happened about the year 237 B. C. 
The purposes of Callinicus after his defeat and 
expulsion may not be well discovered ; but the 
difficulties in hb own dominions were so great 
as to confine his attention henceforth to hb 
home affitirs. Hierax was again an insurgent, 
and with him the king had to decide the issue 
by force. Parthia, delivered from apprehen- 
sion, was left to pursue her own course, and 
Tiridates employed the remainder of hb reign, 
full twenty years in duration, in consolidating 
and establishing the kingdom. 

By this time the Parthians had departed in 



the national evolution, from the ancient bar- 
baric type, and had learned to avail themselves 
of approved methods of defense. Instead of 
trusting henceforth to the wild and audacious 
charges of their cavalry, they began to fortiiy 
the country against the possible recurrence of 
such invasions as that of Callinicus. Several 
positions of importance were converted into 
fortifications and intrusted to regular garrisons 
for defense* The king is himself represented 
by Justin and other authors as active in these 
enterprises. Among other works which he 
promoted was the building of a new capital. 
We may well believe that Hecatompylos was 
not wholly a pleasant seat of government for 
the first of the Arsacid princes. The place 
had been built, as we have said, by Alexander. 
It was a Greek city. It represented the 
European dommation — a thing which had now 
become hateful to the nation. The tradition 
of such a city was in the way of a peaceful 

native administration. The 
suggestions of the place were 
against the existing order, and 
the king sought to escape from 
these surroundings and to 
transfer his government to 
the new city of Dara, which 
he founded and promoted as the Parthian 

For some reason, however, the enterprise 
was not wholly successful. It is not certain 
that Tiridates ever succeeded in removing the 
Government to his new city. If so, the 
transfer was of brief duration. We may con- 
jecture that the Hecatompylonians, seeing the 
Government about to slip away from them, 
found it to their interest to become more loyal 
to the existing order — less Greek and more 
Parthian in their sympathies. It is possible, 
moreover, that there was an equalization of 
forces. Even the Saxons of England were 
not wholly proof against the refinement, the 
culture, the graceful speech and manners of 
the Normans. Though they succeeded in ab- 
sorbing their conquerors, they were them- 
selves, in a measure, absorbed in turn. The 
Greeks were the Normans of Parthia. With 
them were culture, artistic taste, elegant 
speech, fancy and wit. These things are lov- 


able, even in our enemies. Our hatred of the 
foreigner yields somewhat to our liking for his 
' ways. Women more than men are subject to 
this infection. Probably the Parthian prin- 
cesses and ladies of high rank had found in 
the Greek residents of Hecatompyloe a more 
graceful and charming folk than their own 
brothers and lovers. At any rate the Greek 
attraction finally prevailed over the repelling 
forces, and Hecatompylos was retained as the 
future capital of Parthia. 

It was about the year 214 B. C. that 
Tiridates, second of the Arsacidse, died, leav* 
ing the crown to his son Artabanus I. He 
also was an Arsaces, being the third of that 
title. By this time Seleucus Callinicus had 
also rendered his account, transmitting hb 
throne to Antiochus HI., his second son. The 
latter inherited the local troubles with which 
the reign of his father had been distracted. 
Scarcely ' had he taken the crown when 
AchseuB, one of his governors, rose in rebellion^ 
and civil war again ensued in Syria. 

By this time the Parthian kings had learned 
to be observant of the course of affairs in the 
West and the South-west, and to take advantage 
of any circumstance which might favor the de- 
velopment of their own kingdom. Artabanus 
I. was of this mood. Perceiving that the 
king of Syria had as much as he could attend 
to in his home dominions, the Parthian planned 
the conquest of Media. . This ancient State, 
now fallen into decay, lay open to invasion, 
and Artabanus undertook its conquest. He 
carried a vigorous campaign into the country, 
where he seems to have been received with 
little hostility. He made his way to Ecbatana, 
took the city, completed the conquest, and 
added Media to his dominion. For the mo« 
ment it appeared that a great kingdom or Em- 
pire was about to be projected, under the aus- 
pices of the Arsacidse. 

But Antiochus HI. could not well permit 
his great dependencies in the East to be torn 
away without an effort for their recovery, 
As soon as he could bring affairs to quiet in 
Upper Syria, he gathered a large army and 
set out for Mesopotamia. The event showed 
that the king was not incapable of great am- 
bition. Passing rapidly beyond the Tigria 



and the Zagros mountains, he entered Media, 
recovered the capital, restored the Syrian au- 
thority, and then moved forward against Par- 
thia itself. In doing so, he had to traverse 
the Irani^ desert, a region almost wholly 
without water. Upon this circumstance Arta- 
banus relied to keep his enemy at bay. He 
kept detachments of cavalry in the desert in 
front of the Syrian army, with orders to fill 
up or poison the wells upon which Antiochus 
must depend for water. But the progress of 
the latter could not be stayed. Hyrcania was 
entered and its cities taken.. The Parthians 
now confronted the enemy, but were unable 
to check his course. They adopted the expe- 
dient, however, of keeping out of hfa way 
untiF what time the Syrian king, wearied with 
campaigning against a foe whom he could not 
strike down, consented to peace. 

It is thought that Artabanus agreed to co- 
operate with the Syrian monarch in a war 
with Bactria. That country, the reader will 
remember, had also become independent. 
Euthydemus, the king, had shown himself able 
to defend the country. Nor did he shrink 
from the invasion of his dominions by Anti- 
ochus. It is probable that Artabanus was se- 
cretly in sympathy with the Bactrian king in the 
struggle that ensued with Antiochus. At any 
rate, Euthydemus was able to uphold the for- 
tunes of his country until the Syrian king, see- 
ing the impossibility of restoring the Eastern 
Empire by war, withdrew from the country, 
leaving both Parthia and Bactria to follow their 
own course of development. It would seem that 
Antiochus scarcely regarded himself as a victor 
in hb Eastern wars, for the conditions of peace 
which he conceded to those who had opposed 
him were such as follow a drawn battle rather 
than a conquest 

It would appear, however, that Parthia was 
considerably weakened by the struggle through 
which she had passed. The history of the 
kingdom becomes for many years obscure. 
The remainder of the reign of Artabanus was 
of little importance in a national sense. At 
least the ancient historians have passed over 
the closing years of the third century B. C , 
as though they were marked by no stirring 
event from the side of Parthia. In Bactria the 

case was somewhat difierent We may infer 
that this kingdom was not so severely pun- 
ished in the war with Syria as was Parthia. 
At any rate, the remaining years of Euthy« 
demus, and of his son and successor Demetrius, 
were marked in Bactrian history as a period 
of advancement and prosperity. Historically 
considered, the forces were at this time bal* 
ancing between the two kingdoms as to which 
should finally take the lead in the restoration 
of the Asiatic Empire under native princes. 

We may, therefore, say no more in this 
connection than that the subsequent reign of his 
son, named Priapatius, otherwise ArsacesIV., 
was more obscure than that of his predecessor. 
The single fact remains that he occupied the 
throne from B. C. 196 to 181. The epoch was 
in one sense important, for it was at this time 
that the period in history assigned to the suc- 
cessors of Alexander the Oreat comes to a 
close. In the year 196 B. C. the Roman 
Proconsul, Titus Quinctius Flaminius, made 
his appearance at the Isthmian games, at Cor- 
inth, and proclaimed the protectorate of the 
Western Republic over Greece. It was the 
end of Hellenic independence, and the begin- 
ning of the end of all those divisions of po- 
litical power which had been established in the 
East by the Macedonians. Since it was from 
the latter that Parthia had most to fear, and 
since these were now to be completely over- 
whelmed by Rome, we may note the time as 
the crisis ftom which the Parthian Empire 
and ascendency were to begin. It thus hap- 
pened that in the obscurity of the reign of 
Priapatius the antecedents were preparing of 
a great dominion for his successors. 

We may here make a brief pause and digres- 
sion for the purpose of noting the condition of 
affairs in the extreme eastern part of the former 
dominions of Alexander the Great If the 
Macedonian governors had not been able to 
hold their authority over the Asiatics in the 
meridian of Parthia and Bactria, what shall 
we say of their inability in the Indus valley ? 
There lay the great region of the Punjaub^ 
cut off from all dictation of the West and 
from all support by the Europeans. The will 
of the Conqueror had indeed been sufficient to 
hold the countries of Afflchanistan and thf 



Upper iDduB in subjectioD, but not so the will 
of his Bucoessors. 

The native Indian princes, like those of the 
Great Plateau, soon revolted, and regained 
their independence. Among these a king called 
Chandragupta arose and established a dominion 
in the Punjaub fit to be called a kingdom. 
Already at the close of the fourth century 
fi. C, when Seleucus Nicator made his great 
expedition into the East, he found Chandra- 
gupta reigning over the countries between the 
two great rivers of India. Nor was it deemed 
advisable by the Macedonians to enter into a 
war with him for the recovery of the country. 
The Indian prince was left in authority under 
treaty stipulations defining the extent of the 
Indian Kingdom. Nearly a century went by, 
and Antiochus III. crossed Asia on his expe- 
dition to the East. But on approaching India 
he also made a pause, and renewed with the 
successors of Chandragupta the treaty of Se- 
leucus. Amicable relations were established 
between the Syrian Kingdom and the far East, 
and giits were interchanged between the mon* 
archs in the manner of ancient royalty. 

But these things were displeasing to the 
king of Bactria. It was little agreeable to 
his feelings to be overspanned by so wide an 
arch as that between Antioch and the Pun- 
jaub. Euthydemus determined to break thb 
fiur-reaching connection between the East and 
the West, and himself made war on India. 
After him Demetrius, the succeeding Bactrian 
king, took up the cause. He carried a vic- 
torious army into Afghanistan, and afterwards 
into India. On the River Hydaspes he built 
the city Euthymedeia, long known in ancient 
geography. He established his supremacy in 
the countries dominated by his arms ; and the 
historian of the day might well have been 
on tiptoe to witness the further expansion of 
the Bactrian power into a universal Asiatic 

This period, however, covered the climax. 
The Bactrian ascendency could reach no 
higher. It is believed that the success of the 
kingdom in the times of Euthydemus and 
Demetrius was correlated with the unsuccess 
of Parthia at the same epoch. It may have 
been that the Parthian ki^gs of the period 

were unable to do more than to maintain the 
status in qito until what time the nation might 
revive from the effects of the Syrian war, and 
until Bactrian ambition should run its course. 

We may pass at once from the unknown 
reign of Arsaces IV. to that of his son and 
successor Phraates I., otherwise Arsaces V. 
The''latter acceded to power in the year B. C. 
181, and his coming marked an epoch of re- 
vival in the fortunes of the kingdom. It were 
difficult to say how much under such circum- 
stances is due, on the one hand, to the re- 
newal of spirit among the people, and how 
much on the other should be attributed to the 
ambition of the monarch. Neither is available 
to any great extent without the aid of the 
other. Of a certainty an ancient king could 
not of himself make a successful war. Equally 
certain it is that an ancient people, accus- 
tomed to the forms of monarchy, used to re- 
ceive mandates, and to look to its head for 
orders and inspiration, could not make suc- 
cessful war without the leadership of a com- 
petent king. 

In this case we may assume that the people 
of Parthia had recovered ft'om their period of 
depression, and that Phraates was ambitious 
of conquest At all events he began his reign 
by making war on the Mardi. These were a 
mountain people living in the fastnesses of the 
Elburz range — a kind of Swiss of the sub- 
Caspian hills. Their position was almost in- 
accessible, and their spirit the spirit of mount- 
aineers. We may perceive, moreover, that 
Phraates was much at fault in making his 
first war from his inability to use the Parthian 
cavalry in the country which he must pene- 
trate. Nevertheless, the invasion of Mardia 
was successful. The tribe was conquered and 
combined with the Parthians. 

The reader must bear in mind that the 
authority of the kings of Antioch still nomi- 
nally extended to the borders of Parthia and 
Bactria. Any movement of the Parthian 
Ring, therefore, beyond the limits of his own 
territory was aggressive, and might well pro- 
voke the hostility of the Seleucid monarch. 
The latter at this time was Seleucus IV,, sur- 
named Philopator. At the time of the con- 
quest of the Mardians by Phraates, the Syrian 



monarch was deeply involved with Rome. 
The shadow of that colossal power had already 
fidlen on Greece and Egypt and the East. It 
was therefore out of the question for the king 
of Syiia, whatever may have been his resent- 
ment, to proceed against the Parthian King- 
dom in punishment for its aggression. Per- 
haps the loss of the country of the Mardi was 
not much regarded. Tlie great Powers of 
Western Asia were nearly all established on 
the plain. The massive peoples which were 
wielded by the kings of Mesopotamia, of Asia 
Minor, and of Syria were adjusted to the low- 
lands, to the alluvial countries, and knew not 
how to deal with mountain tribes any more 
than the ostrich understands the eyrie of the 
eagle. So the Mardi were permitted to go to 
the conqueror. 

Phraates, gratified with his success, soon 
made a bolder move. It would appear that 
he was able to consider geography in its rela- 
lations with political development It hap- 
pened that his point of view took in easily 
one of the critical positions of Asia. Tlie 
Greek writers have dwelt with much interest 
on the celebrated pass called the Caspian 
Gates. We have already had occasion, in the 
histories of Media and Persia, to refer to this 
famous gap left by nature between the mount- 
ains on the one hand and the desert on the 
other. In modern geography the place is 
designated as the Pass of Girduni Sudurrah. 
It is, in a word, the gateway between Ar- 
menia, Media, and Persia on the one side, and 
Turkistan, Khorassan, and Afghanistan on the 
other. Nor is there any other way by which 
convenient or even practicable passage between 
the East and the West can be found. The 
situation seems almost to have been contrived 
as a military expedient in the strategy of the 
Viatic nations. 

For here the Elburz mountains stretch their 
impassable barrier from the Caspian on the 
north to the desert regions of the Great Pla- 
teau on the south. At the termination of the 
range in this direction a spur projects to a 
considerable distance desertward, as if to ex- 
tend the barrier beyond the natural limit. 
This mountain spur is broken from the prin- 
cipal range in such manner as to make 

human transit possible, but hardly practicable 
through the northern gap. At the lower ex- 
tremity, however, where the ofishoot abuts 
against the desert, stand the so-called Caspian 
Gates. The approach from either side seems 
to be absolutely barred by the mountain wall, 
but an army winding carefully along finds a 
narrow and unobstructed pass from Media 
Shagiana on the west into the country of the 
ancient Sagartians on the east. 

The importance of the Caspian Gates was 
well known to the ancients. Phraates perw 
ceived iU Having conquered the Mardi, he 
next turned his attention to Media Rhagiana; 
for, could he but succeed in conquering that 
country, he could gain possession of the western 
entrance to the Grates, and thus be able to bar 
henceforth the progress eastward of a Syrian 
army. The enterprise was one of hazard. It was 
undertaken by Phraates by transferring a part 
of the tribe of the Mardi into the opon country 
westward from the Gates. The movement 
was successful. Phraates and hb Parthians 
made their way through the pass and overran 
at least a portion of Media Rhagiana. The 
country west of the Gates was occupied by 
Parthian garrisons, and the strategic position 
was secured by Phraates. His reign, however, 
was not marked by any other important 
events. He wore the crown for only seven 
years, dying in B. C. 174. 

Thus far the dynasty had been tolerably 
regular as to the descent of the crown. Tiri- 
dates is reckoned as the brother of the first 
Arsaces. The succession was then to the son 
and to the son's son. With the death of 
Phraates, however, the crown, in accordance 
with the purpose of the late king, was trans- 
mitted to his brother Mithridates, as against 
the claims of bis own son. It is probable that 
Mithridates had been a strong stay of the 
monarchy during the late reign. Phraates had 
honored himself with the title of Philadelphus, 
which would indicate his reliance upon his 
brother. If we are to judge by results the 
lateral transmission of the crown was beneficial 
in the highest degree, for we here come to the 
sudden rise of Parthia to the rank and char- 
acter of an Empire. 

More than any other name among Parthian 




monarchfl is that of Mithridates known to the 
peoples of tne West Those historians who 
are willing to allow tc individual agency the 
general results which in the aggregate go by 
the name of History, have been wont to 
ascribe to Mithridates the place among his 
countrymen which the same writers assign, 
each in his respective sphere, to Alexander and 
Caesar. More properly we may regard this 

dinary as to impress itself strongly upon the 
Greeks and Bomans, whose historians have 
done tolerable justice to the builder of the 
Parthian Empire. 

The conditions of success, however, had been 
prepared for Mithridates before his coming. 
The state of South-western Asia and Eastern 
Europe was now favorable, as it had not been 
before, to the construction of a great political 


L AS8ACBB I., B. C. 247. 2. Tiridates I., 214. 

8. ARTABANU8 I.Ml96b * 
4. PRIAPATIC8, 181. 

I ^1 

bk PRBAAOa L, 174. A. MiTHRIDATra 1., 186. 8. ARTABANU8 II., 124. 

7. Phbaatbb II., 127. 9. Mithridates II., 89. 


10. MNA8CIRA8, 76. 

11. Sanatrcxcbs, 67. (f) 
12. Phraates III., 60l 



Kings numbered In order, thn8.1.2,S.eic. 
Regular descent Indicated (bus — . 
Doubtful descent Indicated thus...... 

Arabic numbers after names Indicate 
date of death or dethronement. 

n* Mithridates III., 56w 

14. Orodbb I., 87. 

15. Phraates IV., 3. 




17. Orodbb n., 18. 19. Artabanus in., 42^ 28. VoNoim n., 92. 



18. VONONSS I., 16. Rhodaspee. 16 PHRAATAOn, 12A.D. 21 GoTABzn,61. Artabanus. 22. Vaboansb, 46. 

Mithridates. 20. Tibidates II., 85. 

24. V0LAGA8I8 I., 78. 


25. Paoobvs. 106. 



25. CHOSRois, 180. 

27. VoLA OASES n., 148L 


29. VoLAGASES rV., 209. 

80. Abtabanus IV., 226. 


sixth representative of the Arsacid Dynasty, 
as the personal expression of the historical 
growth and purpose of the Parthian nation in 
his age. To him undoubtedly great abilities and 
great ambitions must be ascribed. His cour- 
age and strength were equally manifested in 
civil administration and in war. His reign, 
covering a period of thirty-seven years, is the 
most important and interesting of Parthian 
history. His career aa a ruler was so extraor* 

power on the scene of what had been the 
Persian Empire. In the first place, the con- 
dition of Bactria invited the Parthians to 
achieve what the neighboring kingdom had 
not been able to accomplish — the consolidation 
of Asia. True, the Bactriar. kings had, as we 
have seen, aspired to dominion. They had put 
out their hands by conquest over the East to 
the extent of grasping the country as far as 
Upper India. They had also crossed the Faro- 


pambuB Mountfun chaiii to the south, and 
bad brought Arja, Sarangia, aad Arachoua 
under their sway. 

Eucralidaa was dow the king of Bactria. It 
appeared that during his reign the full poli^ 
ical and military energies of bis people had 
been put forth, and that victory and organi- 
laUon could go no further under the Dyuaaty 
cf Euthydemue. A great difficulty existed io 
holding in one even ibe countries already 
brought into union. The student of history 
will not have fuled to note among the aucieut 
nations to what an extent a mountain barrier 
was a bar to the political unity of the peoples 
on the two sides of the chain. At the time of 
which we speak it was found difficult to hold 
bother the nations lying on the south and the 
north of the Paropamisus While Eucratidas 
was absorbed with the work of unifying the 
Southern races, the Northern races rose agaiust 
him. There the Scythians made invasions, 
and the nomadic life reasserted itself in rebell- 
ion. Turning bis attention to these distrac- 
tions, the king soon found that the tribes of 
the South were not to be trusted in his ab- 
sence. Thus between the two the energies of 
Eucratidas were wasted, and the kingdom 
vexed with disunion and war. 

In the direction of Syria there was equal 
confusion. The great dominion established by 
Seleucus was gradually receding and contract- 
ing around AnUoch. Even in those foreign 
parts still dependent upon the Seleucid king 
there was a loosing of the bands wherewith 
they were bound to the cenlfir. At this time 
Seleucus Philopator had become king and had 
involved himself in foreign wars. Now it was 
that Coele-Syria J>ecame an object of conten- 
tion between the Ptolemies and the Seleucids. 
It was said that Antiochus the Great in giving 
his daughter Cleopatra to Ptolemy V., had 
promised to dower her with Ccele-Syria, which 
would have transferred the country to Egypt 
The reigning Seleucus also found cause of 
quarrel and war with the Grecian section of 
the Alexandrian Empire and with Armenia, 
now in revolt against himself. Of a certainty 
a prince thus distracted by serious conflicts on 
three sideaof his dominions was in no condition 
■ucoesafuUy to resist a determined movement 

fur nationality among the Aaiastics beyond 
the Tigris. 

It thus happened that Mithrkiatefl. found 
on his accession to power a lair field for his 
ambitions. He found Eucratidas, bis Bactrian 
rival, involved iu a war on the sde of India. 
This circumstance seemed to invite the Par- 
thian to his first aggression. He led an army 
iuto the adjacent parts of Bactria, and seized 
the two provinces of TuriDa and Aspionus. 
It is believed that by this, hb first successful 
foreign campaign, the king of Parihia poeeessed 
himself of the regions out of which theScythio 
elements of the Parthian nation had been de- 
rived. A source of disturbance was thus cut 
oS*, and its fountain drawn up by absorption. 
The king made himself secure in his conquest, 
and then wheeled about towards Media. We 
have seen how the latter province had already 
been partly taken away from the Syrian kings. 
But the latter still held 
their sway over Media 
Magna, and it was against 
this district that Mithri- 
dates now advanced. 

The Syrian crown at 
this time had descended 
to Antiochus Eupator, „oai or anmuDtm l 
a mere youth, incapable 
of a^irs. The kingdom was in the hands 
of the regent Lyuas; but his energies were 
for a while exhausted in a war with tha 
Jews. At the court also be found oppodtioa 
in the designs of a certain Philip, who, as the 
teacher of Eupator, claimed the ri^t of con- 
trolling the boy-king's actions and policy. 
Civil war broke out until what time Philip 
was overthrown and slain. By this time 
Prince Demetrius, a cousin of Seleucus, laid 
cImui to the throne in virtue of their common 
descent. Demetrius bad been given by one 
of the former Seleucids as a hostage to Rome 
His youth was spent in the city of the Tiber. 
At length he made his escape from Italy, re- 
turned to Syria, headed a revolution against 
his cousin, and gained the throne. 

It was during this confused and confusing 
condition of atfairs that Mitliridates threw his 
army upon the Medes. It was of litt.e avail 
that the Syrian claim to the dominion of the 



country was asserted. Even before the be- 
ginning of the invasion the Median tribes had 
become virtually independent Indeed, the 
spirit of Jthe people was a more serious ob- 
stacle to the ambitions of Mithridates than 
was the Syrian army. The details of the war 
with Media have not been preserved, but the 
general result was manifested in the transfer 
of Media Magna to the Parthian king. Per- 
haps the condition of the country thus sub- 
jugated was not greatly changed. It is be^ 
lieved that the same prince who had ruled 
under the king of Syria was retained in office 
by Mithridates as his representative among 
the subject peop!e. 

It was now evident that the king of Parthia 
was about to begin his career as Imperial con- 
queror. Such premonitions are always alarm- 
ing to the surrounding peoples. Whoever 
plays the part of Alexander or Csesar has a 
hard struggle at the outset. It is only after a 
period of victory, when the volume of con- 
quest begins to roll on by its own momentum 
that the conqueror rides majestically on the 
rising wave. In the present instance the 
Hyrcanians took the alarm and set themselves 
against the Parthian king. The latter was 
now ready for any emergency, and made haste 
to advance against the hostile nation. The 
Hyrcanians sought to induce the Medes and 
the Mardian mountaineers to join them in the 
war, but their efforts were unavailing. Hyr- 
cania was thus exposed without support to the 
wrath of Mithridates, who soon succeeded in 
reducing the province to submission. Thus in 
at least three directions the Parthian monarch 
stretched his cords and strengthened his stakes. 
Scarcely had these movements been ac- 
complished when a revolt broke out in Ely- 
mais. It is believed that the prince or king 
of this country had already made himself in- 
dependent of the Syrian monarchy before his 
war with Mithridates. The latter now, for 
the first time, had opportunity to test his abil- 
ities as leader of an army in a truly foreign 
war. Thus far he had contended with nations 
whose dominions bordered on Parthia. Now 
he was obliged to lead his forces to a distance 
through a desert country, and meet the Ely- 
m»ans in battle. But the event was auspi- 

cious to the Parthian, who overran Elymais 
and added it to his dominions. This successful 
campaign had thrown him between Persia and 
Babylonia. It was not likely that a victorious 
monarch would fail to make the most of his 
advantageous position. It appears that both 
the Persians and the Babylonians recognized 
the peril of their situation, and, perceiving the 
weakness of the ties by which they were bound 
to Antioch, deemed it prudent to cast in their 
lot with the conqueror. It thus happened that 
an extensive region in the South-west, includ- 
ing the Babylonian plain and the whole 
country eastward to the Carmanian desert, 
was added by a single campaign to what may 
now be called the Parthian Empire. 

A period of more than twenty years was 
occupied by Mithridates in these wars. Dur- 
ing the whole of this time the Syrian kings 
had been unable to disentangle themselves 
from tiieir troubles in the West and give at- 
tention to the Eastern revolution. Nor had 
the king of Bactria found opportunity or dis- 
position to attempt the recovery of what had 
been lost by conquest. The attention of Eu- 
cratidas had been constantly occupied with 
troubles and revolts on the side of India. He 
was thus obliged to assent to the loss of his 
western provinces to his rival. It would seem 
that the two kings, one pressing his way to- 
wards the Indus and the other towards the 
Babylonian plain, had come to amity and 
common purposes. But to a part of the Bac 
triau nation this concord with Parthia was 
distasteful. Prince Heliocles, son of the Bac- 
trian monarch, represented the discontent, 
and sought to recover from Parthia the lost 
provinces. Believing that his father, the 
king, was in the way of his ambitions, he 
secured his taking off by violence, and seized 
the crown for himself This he did with the 
evident purpose of going to war with Mith- 

But the latter was on the alert Perceiving 
the designs of his antagonist, the Parthian 
king turned into Bactria, quickly overthrew 
Heliocles, subverted the kingdom as to all its 
western provinces, and added them to his 
Empire. He then carried his victorious arms 
to the east, forcing the Bactrian monarch to 



the mountaioSy aod curapelling him and his 
successors to accept heucetbrth the restricted 
region adjacent t«i Upper India. Thus between 
the years B. C. 163 and 140 were tlie widtfly 
extended countries of South-western Asia re- 
stored by revolt and war to Asiatic domina- 
tion. The drama as a whole was virtually a 
restoration of the Persian Empire under the 
auspices of Parthia. Of the extent and char- 
acter of the Imperial territories we have already 
given an account in the first chapter of the pres- 
ent Book. The Imperial domain now consisted 
of at least twelve provinces, and embraced an 
area but little less than five hundred thousand 
square miles in extent It only remained for 
Mithridates to consolidate, organize, and de- 
fend the countries and nations that had fallen 
under his sway. 

As for foreign violence, little was to be 
feared except from the side of the kingdom 
of Syria. Doubtless the reigning princes at 
Antioch had been deterred for nearly a quarter 
of a century from invading the East by the 
distractions of the West Doubtless the news 
of Eastern rebellions, wars, conquests, and 
transformations smote dismally on the ears of 
the Syrian kings. Doubtless the loss of their 
revenues was to them a source of extreme 
annoyance and discomfort But the struggles 
of the rulers around the eastern shores of the 
Mediterranean, from the Libyan desert to the 
Grecian archipelago, were sufilicient to keep 
the Syrian monarchs from any effort at the 
recovery of their provinces. We have seen 
how the Regent Lysias and the teacher Philip 
contended for the mastery of the government 
and the young king of Antioch ; how^ Deme- 
trius Soter came from Rome and took the king- 
dom, and how Syria was obliged to contend 
with Egypt for the recovery of the territory 
given away with the fir^t Cleopatra. 

At length the crown of whai remained of 
the Syrian monarchy descended to Demetrius 
n., a prince not withouc ambition. Reaching 
a lull in the Western wars he cast his yes to 
the East, and about the year 140 B. C. 
planned an expedidon for the recovery of the 
fortunes of his house by war. Mithridates 
ki^d not found everything comformable to his 
will in the administration of the new Empire. 

Among the conquered Bactrians there were 
mutterings, discontent, incipient rebellions. 
In all the countries which he had couq\iered 
were Greek cities planted either by Alexander 
himself or by his successors. These seats of 
power and influence had been built up by im- 
migration from Europe. Thither had come 
thousands of Greeks and Macedonians from 
the European main-land, from the archipelago, 
and from Asia Minor. These had increased, 
multiplied, expanded. They had become the 
intellectual class throughout all South-western 
Asia. They had taken, in marriage or in 
illicit relations, the choice princesses of the ^1- 
atics. There had thus appeared a large and 
influential Grseco-Asiatic element in the popu* 

On the whole, the sympathies of this class 
were hostile to the Parthian ascendency* 
Through a hundred and seventy years the 
Seleucid kings had held sway, real or nomi- 
nal, over the countries this side of India. 
Even the Asiatics, pure and simple, had be- 
come at last accustomed to the European and 
Syrian dominations. All of these conditions, 
sympathies, and tendencies had to be overcome 
and reversed by Mithridates before his Im« 
perial rule could be accepted with cordiality by 
the diverse peoples whom he had conquered. 

It thus came to pass that when Demetrius 
n. entered upon his war with Parthia, he was 
assisted somewhat by the social and political 
condition of Asia. He began his campaign 
under favorable auspices, making his way first 
into Babylonia, where he received the submis- 
sion of the country. It will be understood 
by the reader that the peoples of these Asiatic 
dominions had little choice among their mas- 
ters. They could therefore be delivered from 
hand to hand as merchandise of the mart 
But Demetrius now began to encounter op- 
position. The Bactrian cavalry was in his 
front. He was able, however, to continue 
his advance and to win several battles be- 
yond the Mesopotamian rivers. Elymais was 
overrun and temporarily recovered to the 
Syrian monarchy. Other districts were re- 
taken, and Mithridates found himself receding 
before the superior forces of his enemy. 

It appears that at this time, if we are to 



trust the testimony of Justin, the Parthian 
king overreached his rival by proposing ne- 
gotiations. While these were pending he at- 
tacked and routed the Syrian army, capturing 
Demetrius himself and leading him away into 
the interior. It seems that the whole expedi- 
tion was blown away. Nor was Mithridates 
satisfied until he had taken the captured king 
from capital to capital through the provinces, 
showing him in the cities to the Grseco- 
Asiatics as an example of what might be ex- 
pected of those who dared to raise the arm 
against his Empire and himself. 

Of a certainty the victory of Parthia was 
sufficiently decisive. So much, however, 
could hardly be said for the scheme of the 
king to unite his dynasty with that of Syria 
by intermarriage. It appears that he placed 
his rfiyal prisoner, Demetrius, in a suitable 
residence in Hyrcania, where he maintained 
him in a style befitting his rank. He also 
sought to have his daughter given to the 
Syrian monarch, in order that the destinies 
of the two houses might be blended in the 
issue. But the project came to naught 
Mithridates himself was now well advanced in 
years. He was exhausted by the vicissitudes 
and struggles of a reign more than thirty-seven 
years in duration. Soon after he had put his 
royal prisoner into Hyrcania for safe-keeping 
he sickened and died, in B. C. 136. 

As we have said, the Parthian Empire had 
DOW reached its greatest territorial extent 
It had become the great power of Western 
Asia. The Old Era was drawing to a close. 
Rome was making her way through an aristo- 
cratic republicanism towards Imperial world- 
wide dominion. Already by the time which 
we have now reached, namely, the last quarter 
of the second century B. C, the two rival 
powers of the world were the Roman Republic 
in the West and Parthia in the East. Before 
entering upon an account of the struggles be- 
tween these two, covering several centuries 
about the beginning of our era, it may be of 
interest and instruction to note with some par- 
ticularity the civil and political constitution 
of the Parthians. 

The Government of the Empire was in its 
leading features an amplification and adapta- 

tion of the old Parthian monarchy to the 
new Imperial conditions. We have many 
such examples in history of an aspiring St&te 
imposing by war and diplomacy its civil insti- 
tutions upon surrounding and subject peoples. 
In our own day we need go^ no furUier than 
the recent establishment of the German Em- 
pire, under the hegemony of Prussia^ in illus- 
tration of this form of political development 
Ancient Parthia — ^Parthia Proper — imposed 
herself and her half-barbaric forms of admin- 
istration upon the nations whom she conquered, 
insomuch that the Empire was but an enlarge- 
ment of institutions which had already existed 
for four or five centuries. 

The first point to which we may refer b 
the explication of the political life of the Par- 
thians, is the ascendency and strong counter 
check of the Nobility on the Monarchy. The 
secular nobles were known as the Megistanes. 
The body so called might well be compared to the 
British House of Lords in embryo ; that is, it 
was composed of two groups of notables, the one 
^ secular, and the other of a religious derivation. 
The former were called, in the Grseco-Asiatic 
tongue, the Sophoi, that is, the ''Wise," and 
the latter were the Magi, or degenerated Zo- 
roastrian priesthood. These two branches of 
nobles combined to form one of the great 
councib by which the Parthian monarch was 
advised and, in at least a negative sense, di- 
rected. Besides the Megistanes there was an* 
other body, made up for the most part of 
members of the royal family, and known as 
the Domestic or Privy CounciL In these ar- 
rangements we see the germs in the one of 
the modern Senate, and in the other of the 
modem Ministry, or Cabinet After all, an- 
tiquity is not so far away I 

The head of the Parthian monarchy was 
chosen by election of the Megistanes. The 
naming of the king required the concurrent 
voice of the Megistanes and the Domestic 
Council. But over and above these bodies 
was the constitution, in which heredity was 
recognized as the best law of choice. That is, 
the councils must choose by law, among the 
Arsacid princes, that one whom the constitu- 
tion pointed to as the legitimate sovereign. 
This was generally the eldest son of the late 



idag; or in lieu of him, his next brother 
mnat be choqen. In default of sons, then the 
eldeat surviving brother of the last monarch 
WM the one deugnat^d for the crowD; after 
bini, hii brother. In default of sons and 
brotliers, then the choice rested on the uncle 
sf tbe last runr. In case the descent was 
thus diverted from the direct line, it could 
not be recovered by representatives of that 
line except in de&ult of the younger branch 
whereon the crown now 
rested. Here again we dis- 
cover aa almost identical 
prototype of the English 
law of rryal descent and 

In some instances (he 
Parthian councils felt war- 
ranted in deposing their 
sovereign. Such proceed- 
ing, however, could but be 
revolutionary in character. 
Only an imbecile or idiot 
prince would permit him- 
self, without an appeal to 
the sword, to be put aside 
by the act of the Me^ 
tanes. If James II. proves 
recreant to his trust — is no 
longer tolerable by the na- 
tion — we will put him a«de. 
We will declare that he has 
himself abdicated the thrones 
We will call over William to 
be king in his stead. But 
of a certunty James and hie 
adherents, not accepting our 
decision in the matter, will 
fight for the recovery of his 
crowD and kingdom, 

Aa to induction into office, we might have 
expected that the Magi, more particularly the 
Magus Megistos, or High Priest, would be called 
upon, or would assume the right, in virtue of his 
religious office and after the manner of his kind, 
to crown the sovereign and consecrate him to 
bis royal duties. But this office, on the con- 
trary, was reserved for the Surena, nr General- 
■amm? of the army. He it was who was sum- 
moned on the day of coronation to put the 

crown upon his sovereign's bead, a fact which 
fully establishes the strongly military charact«T 
of the monarchy. 

In common with the other great despoljsnu 
of the East, the Parthian Government was 
little changed from age to age. There was in 
it much of the same quality which made the 
laws of tlie Medes and Persians the synonym 
for uuchangea bleu ess in both ancient and 
modern timea As a rule the king governed 


according to his own, judgment, executing hii 
own decisions as though they were the decrees 
of A Parthian Congress. The reader must 
understand, however, that in all personal gov- 
ernments there are traditional checks and re- 
straints upon the absolutism of the sovereign, 
the nature and force of which it is difficult for 
citizens of a modern republic or kingdom to 
understand. It appears that the nature of 
man is of itself a constitution whose provisiou 



are as well understood and as mandatory as 
the most formal articles in the written code of 
nations. Added to this unalterable principle 
of human nature, as shown in the unwritten 
restraints imposed by public opinion on the 
wills of barbaric kings and emperors, we must 
allow, in the case of Parthia, a restraining in- 
fluence to the Magiao priesthood. This body, 
whose numbers, in the latter times of the Em* 
pire, Gibbon has estimated at eighty thousand, 
could not fail to hold the rod of religious au« 
thority over the secular rulers. The sovereign 
himself, according as his nature was of a re- 
ligious or a secular bias, must have felt in 
greater or less degree the common awe which 
the traditional representative of the ancient 
Iranian faith exercbed over the minds and 
conduct of the common people. 

In lieu of a representative Government, com- 
posed of ddegates assembling from all parts 
at the capital — in lieu of a system of adminis- 
tration by which revenues were regularly gath- 
ered and authority dispensed from the central 
Government to its remotest members — the an- 
cient provincial system, developed by the 
Achsemenian kings into the well-known sa- 
trapial form, was adopted and adhered to by 
the Parthian monarchs. The plan was, in 
brief, to regard the different provinces as a 
sort of quasi independeocies, over each of which 
a satrap, or governor, was appointed by the 
king. There was, however, among the de- 
pendencies much inequality. Some of them 
consisted merely of the territories of a tribe 
only half emerged from the barbaric state. 
Others rose as high in the scale as regular 
kingdoms. There was a great difference in 
rank between the rulers of the latter and 
those of the former. The latter were in real- 
ity sub-kings, tributary monarchs to the great 
sovereign, who now took upon himself the title 
of King of Kings. Over the smaller and less 
important provinces mere satraps, holding office 
during the pleasure of the sovereign, were sent 
out. In such countries as Media, Persia, Arme- 
nia, and Babylonia, the viceroys were rulers of 
royal rank and hereditary rights. They had, 
of course, been obliged to accept a tributary 
relation to the Parthian Emperor ; but beyond 
this the administration of the sub-king5i 


comparatively free from interference. There 
was, indeed, no general administration for the 
whole Empire, but a sort of feudalism, under 
which connections and subordinations were es- 
tablished on the principle of protection from 
above down, and of military service and 
tribute on the part of the subject States. 

Besides the two kinds of government here 
referred to, namely, the common satrapy and 
the half-hereditary viceroyalty, there was still 
a third variety of political organization within 
the Imperial dominions. Thb was the free 
city. It was not within the desire, and prob* 
ably not within the ability, of the Parthian 
monarchs to eradicate the Grseco-Macedonian 
municipalities which for nearly two centuries had 
constituted the nests of Europeanism in Amu 
These cities had for «x generations lain like 
gems of culture on the immoderate breast of 
barbarism. In many respects they were m 
Asia, but not of it In the natural order of 
things they became detached from the sur- 
rounding provinces. At length permanent re- 
lations were established between them and the 
monarchy. Many of the cities paid tribute 
directly to the royal treasury, and were hence- 
forth isolated from the local government of the 

It was the policy of the Empire not to dis- 
turb the provincial governments, of whatever 
kind they were, so long as the tribute was pud 
regularly and in full amount The same 
principle held with the cities. The latter 
were allowed to proceed on their own lines of 
development. Thus, for instance, Seleucia 
grew to greatness. According to Pliny, the 
population waxed to six hundred thousand. 
Fortifications were built, and the place be- 
came a sort of Hamburg of andquity. A 
municipal government was constituted afler a 
plan that might well remind the reader of 
Mediseval Venice under the Doges. Of course 
the arts and learning of the Parthian Empire 
fled for covert to these Gr»co- Asiatic strongs 
holds. Each became a sort of Constantinoplf 
of the desert, wherein Culture might peaceably 
examine her still beautiful features in the 
mirrors which had been preserved from the 
days of the Grecian ascendency. 

To destroy such places was a thing not to 



be considered by the Parthian kings; and so 
they "were spared from violence. More than 
this, we may discover in the situation one of 
the prevailing habits of the Parthian court. 
We have already remarked upon the unfixed- 
ness as to the locality of the seat of govern- 
ment. Hecatompylos, the old* capital of Par- 
thia Proper, ceased to be regarded as the seat 
of the Empire. Ctesiphon was preferred, par- 
ticularly for the winter months. The milder 
climate of the South and the half -Greek re- 
finements of the metropolis wooed the kings 
and their courts out of the boisterous North. 
Not far away was the city of Vologesocerta, 
which likewise invited at certain seasons a , 
visit from the sovereign. Then, with the re- 
turn of summer, the Emperor and his retinue 
would hie away into Media and fix themselves 
for awhile at Ecbatana, the ancient capital. 
Sometimes the royal residence was at Tap4 
in Hyrcania; and during the spring months 
the monarch was wont to enjoy himself at 
Rhages, which had been one of the first con- 
quests of Mithridates. 

(Jould the observer look in once more upon 
this ancient Parthian court, as it was consti- 
tuted in the days of the King of Kings, he 
should behold an assemblage of splendid per- 
sons clad in the style of the Orient, having 
the manners of a half-redeemed barbarism, 
and living in such luxurious habit as war 
and pride and appetite had engendered. The 
manner of the royal establishment was virtu- 
ally the same as that of Assyria and Persia. 
The story of the kingly courts in those coun- 
tries has already been recited. In general, 
there was about the king's residence much 
passion and treachery. It might almost ap- 
pear that there is something climatic about 
the sentiments and customs of men, by which 
they are controlled in the different, epochs of 
history and the different localities of ^ 
world. It might be difficult to conceive of 
the existence of the Hellenic democracy on 
the Plateau of Iran, and equally difficult to 
imagine the existence of a Persian or Par- 
thian court in the Grecian Islands. 

However this may be, we may assure our- 
selves that the Arsacid princes virtually re- 
vived and restored the style of government 

which had been practiced by the Achsemenian 
kings. But in one respect Parthia appears to 
have outdone the Orient in the way of bar- 
baric grandeur. In time of war, not only the 
king, but his court, his Government, went 
into the field. The State was encamped with 
the army. An immense retinue of non-> 
combatants "followed in the wake of the expe- 
dition. A caravan of camels carried not only 
the military equipage, but a half cityful of 
articles belonging to peace. The king and his 
generals had no thought of leaving any grati- 
fication behind them. The wives and concu- 
bines of the monarch and his nobles were borne 
on litters from camp to camp, and all the 
means of revelry, all the accoutrements of 
pleasure, were bountifully supplied at every 
stage of the campaign. The royal society re- 
moved from place to place with only the cav- 
alry interposed between itself and the enemy. 

Conquest had now reached its territorial 
limit except on the side of Syria. In that 
direction the country was still open to inva- 
sion, and the motives were present for the 
renewal of war. Time and again the Graeco- 
Syrian kings had thought to recover by the 
sword their Eastern provinces. Time and 
again the Parthians had succeeded in beating 
them back. Would not the latter now turn 
upon their foe, and drive an expedition in the 
direction of the Mediterranean? At this very 
time Demetrius, one of the Syrian kings, was 
a prisoner in the hands of the Parthians. We 
have seen how Mithridates confined him in 
regal state in Hyrcania, and how he sought to 
give him his daughter Rhodogun^ in mar- 
riage. This project went over unfulfilled to 
Phraates II., who, in the year 136 B. C, 
succeeded his father on the throne. 

Meanwhile the Syrian crown had, when the 
captivity of Demetrius was known, descended 
to Antiochus Sidetes, brother of the prisoner. 
It appears that as soon as Phraates came into 
power he began to consider the question of 
conquering Syria. He first sought tapcomote 
his purpose by an intrigue. Having succeeded 
in inducing the captive Demetrius to accept 
Rhodogun^ as his wife, he attempted to enlist 
his prisoner in his cause. To this end he 
tempted him with the prospect of liberatioOf 



iioping that as soon as Demetrius was free he 
would reclaim the Syrian throne. The cap- 
tive was himself not innocent of such a dream, 
but he sought to consummate his hopes with- 
out the connivance of his brother-in-law. He 
accordingly made one or two unsuccessful ef- 
forts to escape, but was in each instance pur- 
sued, retaken, and brought back to captivity. 

Meanwhile feelings of correlative antago- 
nism were cherished by the Syrian king against 
the Parthians. He too bided his time. For 
the present Antiochus Sidetes was engaged in 
a war with the Jews. That rebellious people, 
under the leadership of the High Priest Simon, 
attempted to maintain the independence which 
had been conceded by Demetrius before his 
overthrow and captivity. In course of time 
the Jews, under the command of John Hyr* 
eanus, who had succeeded his father Simon, 
were reduced to submission, and Antiochus 
found himself free to make war on the Par- 
thians. He organized a powerful army, and 
set out in the direction of Babylonia. The 
king of Syria was still able, notwithstanding 
the losses of territory which his predecessors 
had met, to bring into the field a force greatly 
superior to that with which Phraates was able 
to confront him. The latter, however, came 
forth as far as Mesopotamia, and time and 
again joined battle with his antagonist. But 
In each engagement the victory remained with 
the Syrians, and the Parthian king was obliged 
to recede toward the central parts of his Empire. 

The successes of the Syrians in the field 
were, in the next place, increased by the 
ehronic disafiection of the Greek cities. The 
latter, together with many of the provinces on 
the side of Babylonia, rose and went over to 
Antiochus. It was the same old story of ex- 
changing masters under the expediency of 
the hour. For the time, the western horizon 
seemed to bear nothing but thunder-clouds 
and tempest for Phraates; but he was un- 
daunted, and set himself against further dis- 
aster. The time had now come for making 
the most of the captive Demetrius. The Par- 
thian king set him at liberty, and he sped 
away like an arrow in the direction of Syria. 
It seems, however, that Antiochus did not learn 
of the flight of the dangerous bird, and po he 

pressed on, gaining additional advantages 
until what time winter set in, and the Syrian 
army was distributed into the cities for 

The forces of the invasion were thus scat- 
tered over a wide extent of country ; but the 
situation seemed one of security, and no un- 
easiness was felt by the king. On the side of 
Partbia, however, the case was viewed with a 
keener eye. The Parthian soldiers were able 
for winter service, being inured to the climate. 
The case, moreover, was well-nigh desperate » 
and Phraates determined to make the most of 
the opportunity. At first the different de- 
tachments of the Syrian army were well re- 
ceived in the cities to which they were sent; 
but military occupation is always a wearinesR 
of the flesh. The soldiers ate and drank and 
caroused, after the manner of their kind, until 
the citizens became heartily sick of having 
gone over to Antiochus. 

As the winter wore on Phraates, learning 
of the universal discontent, sent trusted agents 
into all the cities where the Syrians were 
quartered, and contrived a great conspiracy. 
It was arranged that on a given day each 
city should rise against the soldiers and de* 
stroy them, while at the same time Phraates 
himself should make a rush for the head- 
quarters of the Syrian army and overwhelm 
his enemy in battle. The plot was carried into 
execution. At the given time the citizens 
sprang to arms, surrounded the quarters of 
the soldiers, and slew and massacred until 
scarcely a Syrian was left to tell the story. 
The rumor of the insurrection flew to Anti- 
ochus, and he led forth his central division to 
the rescue, only to be met by Phraates in the 
field. In this struggle also the issue was 
against the Syrians. The Parthian cavalry 
swept everything before it, and Antiochus 
himself was slain. Almost the entire force, 
enormous as it was, was destroyed. Accord- 
ing to Diodorus Siculus, three hundred thou- 
sand of the Syrians perished. 

At all events the expedition was brought 
to utter ruin. Not a vestige of the invading 
force was left in the field. The triumph of 
Phraates was complete in every particular. 
He succeeded in capturing the son and 



ikiighter of his adveraary. The rapid res- 
toration of Parthian authority ensued in all 
those parts of the country which had b^n 
overawed by the Syrians. The Parthian king 
made strenuous efforts to overtake and bni:fi^ 
back Demetrius, hoping thus to secure all the 
Seleucid princes, and thus perhaps extinguish 
the Dynasty. But Demetri^is had already 
fled beyond his reach, and auld not be re- 

As to the Syrian monarchy, an additional 
disaster was in waiting. No sooner was it 
known in Judsa that Antiochus was slain 
than the people rose against their masters and 
achieved their independence. The kings of 
Antioch, in the remaining sixty-three years of 
their power, were not able again to subdue 
the Jews, and Palestine remained an inde- 
pendency until what time the scepter of Rome 
was passed over the countries east of the 

Notwithstanding the great advantages of 
victory, Phraates found serious obstacles in his 
path. An enemy, not indeed so numerous, 
but far more terrible in war than the Syrians, 
rose on the opposite borders of the Empire. 
For several generations the Scythians had 
been in league with the Parthians. The old- 
time kinship and affinity of the two peoples 
have been more than once referred to in the 
preceding pages. Friendship existed, and 
common cause was frequently made by the 
Scyths with the people and king of Parthia. 
When Antiochus Sidetes, the late invader, 
came into Babylonia with his army, Phraates 
had solicited the aid of the Scythians, and a 
great body of the wild warriors had accepted 
the call. They set out on their march to join 
Phraates, but did not succeed in doing so until 
after the defeat and destruction of the Syrian 
army. Then, forsooth, Phraates had no further 
use for the Scyths or for their belated offers 
of aid. The Northern warriors then demanded 
their pay, and when this was refused they 
turned about and began to take by ravage in 
the districts of Parthia a liberal compensation 
for their alleged services. 

Against these disturbers of his Empire 
Pbiaates was now obliged to turn about from 
the scene of his great victory. He had mean- 

while forgiven the Greek cities, and had ac- 
cepted from them a contingent of soldiers. 
He had also incorporated with his own army 
the prisoners whom he had taken from An- 
tiochus. There was thus a considerable di- 
vision of his forces made up of foreign ele- 
ments. With this army he advanced against 
the Scyths, and came to battle. In the midst 
of the conflict the Greeks, on the Parthian side, 
treacherously rose against their general and 
went over to the Scythians. The Parthians, 
thus weakened by defection, were, routed and 
swept from the field. Phraates himself was 
among the slain. 

Had the Scythians possessed the instincts 
of conquest and reorganization, they might 
now, to all appearances, have gone forward to 
the overthrow of the Empire ; but their method 
was simply the method of plunder. As for 
the Greeks, by whose aid the victory had bees 
achieved, finding themselves suddenly liber* 
ated from military captivity, they broke up 
and rolled away towards the West, recoverinjr 
as best they might their homes in Mesopo 
tamia and Syria. The reign had been brief, 
extending only to the year B. C. 127. Noi 
might it be claimed that the Empire had, on 
the whole, been improved or strengthened by 
the agency and valor of the sixth of the Ar- 
sacid kings. 

Phraates at the time of his death was stiU 
a young man. It appears that he left no son 
to succeed him. At any rate the crown was 
transferred to his uncle, Abtabanus II. The 
latter, on coming to power, had to face the 
roost serious responsibilities. The victorious 
Scythians and their Greek auxiliaries were still 
in the heart of Parthia. The native army 
had been almost destroyed. * At the same time 
serious difficulties arose on the side of Baby- 
lonia. The satrap of this country bad by his 
oppressions goaded the people into rebellion 
and war. But the clouded aspect of affairs 
soon gave place to a clearer sky. The Greeks, 
as we have seen, were more anxious to escape 
from the country than to continue the conflict 
As for the Scythians, they in all ages were 
satisfied to stuff themselves with coarse food, 
to heat their blood with strong drinks, and to 
enjoy the ineffable sleep of barbarism. In the 



present instance they plundereil until they 
were satisfied, and then withdrew from the 
ooontry, leaving the Parthians to reflect upon 
the costliness of refusing military pay to half- 

But while the Empire thus happily emerged 
from the dangerous local complications which 
had thickened around the last years of Phra- 
ates, another and more general peril came in- 
stead. This was the pressure which now be- 
gan to be felt on the northern and eastern 
frontiers from the impact of human hordes 
bearing down out of the unknown regions be- 
fond the Jaxartes. It were long to give an 
account of this extraordinary movement. In 
its origin, its character, and tendencies, it was 
;>ne of the many irruptions of the barbaric 
upon the civilized or half-civilized races of 
men. The philosophy of such ethnic agita- 
tions is better understood as it respects the 
after-parts and results of the movements than 
with respect to their origin. The true begin- 
ning of the migration of tribes is a thing ex* 
oeedingly hard to discover. After the war* 
Ske migrations have once been started, it is 
easy enough to note the process by which one 
barbarous nation after another is jostled from 
its seats until the last of the series is thrown 
across the borders of civilization. Again, we 
may say that the primal impulse is partly 
eosmic and partly ethnic in character. Time 
and again we have had occasion to remark 
upon the operation of those subtle forces in the 
natural world by which the human race is 
pressed westward through all continents and 
across all seas. Again, some races of men ex- 
hibit a peculiar aptitude for movements of this 
kind. It might be said with truth that they 
are most susceptible in their constitution to 
the influence of those far-reaching physical 
laws to which we have just referred. 

But as we have said, the origin, the source, 
the fountain of the disturbance is hardly dis- 
coverable. The impulse rises far ofi* in the 
regions of utter barbarism. Perhaps we might 
find it in the peculiar fecundity of certain 
tribes, in oert^n stages of their development 
Such movements always precede the mo- 
nogamio stage in the human evolution. At 
any rate^ we may contemplate a certain spot 

in barbarism as overstocked with human be- 
ings, having the aggressive instinct and the 
nomadic character. Migration ensues, and 
the neighboring tribes are propelled in a di- 
rection a little to the south of west. This 
course is sought under the same influence 
which carries the colony of bees to its des- 
tination after leaving the parent hive. Eu- 
rope has been many times troubled, and at 
least once extinguished, by a barbarian ava- 
lanche precipitated under the influences here 

At the time of which we speak Aoa, as 
well as Europe, began to feel the pressure. 
Bactria was the first to be smitten in the flank 
by the ram*8-head of barbarism. About the 
time of the accession of Artabanus IL the 
Bactrian provinces were despoiled by barba- 
rians of the nomadic order. A large part of 
the country was actually taken by tribes out 
of the North, breaking in as though they had 
been flred from a catapult. But Bactria was 
not the only part so threatened and assaulted. 
Arya was also invaded, and the Hyrcanian 
borders felt the pressure. All along the line 
of the Oxus, from its Caspian delta to its^ 
head-waters in the mountains of Upper India, 
the horde surged back and forth to flnd an 
entrance into the Empire. 

The tribes were nameless and numberless. 
Their character has been depicted by Herod- 
otus and Strabo. The nomadic habit was the 
dominant trait The tribesmen had wagons 
and carts and the other apparatus peculiar to 
races of the woods and steppes; and the 
women and children of the race were borne in 
these vehicles from one station to another. 
The vocation was hunting, war, plunder. Do- 
mestic animals, especially cattle and horses, 
were carried along with the movement The 
milkrdrinking and cheese-eating appetite of the 
Scyths is known wherever Ancient History 
has been read. The social structure was based 
on polyandria, the sexual union bebg much 
the same in manner as that of the North 
American Indians. 

The Asiatic barbarians were fiEtmous in their 
day for their skill in horsemanship and archery. 
Their weapons were the bow and arrow, the 
spear and the lance, the knife, or short swoxdf 



•od the battle-axe. These, as to their metal* 
fie parts, were of bronze. War was waged in 
the style of savages. Many usages which have 
been eliminated in civilized warfare prevailed. 
Arrows were poisoned with the venom of ser- 
pents or the diseased discharges of animal 
bodies. The enemy might be destroyed in 
any manner fatal to hum^n life. Not only 
should the foe be slain, but his body might be 
cooked and eaten, as if it were the product of 
the chase. Nor did the cannibalism of the 
barbarians stop with devouring the fallen foe. 
Friends and kinsmen might be eaten if only 
the rules of the Scythian constitution should 
be observed. The young and middle-aged 
Were not for food ; but with the failure of the 
bodily powers in advanced life, the father or 
uncle of the polyandrian family was taken, 
killed by hb household, and eaten with grati- 
tude. Nor does it appear that the victims u nder 
sach circumstances regarded their fate as a 
hardship. It was the usage of the nation. The 
hardship came in the form of disease which 
sometimes prevented the law from having its 
course in the final disposition of the body. 

It was against such a race as this that 
Ajrtabanus 11. was called to contend. Nor 
was he slow to accept the challenge which 
came roaring out of the country of the Jax- 
artes. Soon after his accession to the throne 
he made successful warfare first upon those 
tribes that had already broken into his domin- 
fens. Bactria was expurgated of her savage 
contents, and the king then led his army vie* 
toriously into the enemy's country. The na- 
tion of the Tochari was turned back by battle, 
and the cohort of barbarism felt a sudden jar 
in its progress, at which the tribes were 
startled and stood still. But while Artabanus 
was thus carrying on successful warfare with 
the hostOe races beyond his own borders, he 
was wounded in battle, and died from the in* 
jury. The event, while not at once decisive 
as to the general issue of the war, ended the 
campidgn, and the Parthians receded from the 
barbarian countries. As for the crown, it was 
at once transferred to Mithridates U., son 
&nd successor of the late king. 

The volume of barbarism, like a stream of 
Mter, on meeting an obstacle turns to right 

or left, and makes its way into a devious 
channel. It appears tliat the war of Arta- 
banus in the country north of the Oxus had 
had some such physical effect on the savage 
races. At least the new king found less 
difficulty than might have been anticipated in 
staying the further progress of the nomads. 
The beast »f barbarism reared, plunged, and 
took another course. Mithridates II. had 
little trouble in re-establishing his northern 
frontier. The Scythic tribes were turned to 
the east, as if to make a detour around the 
Empire. The historical forces had been strong 
enough to deflect the cosmic forces, and to 
discharge the river of savagery far to the east 
in Afghanistan and Upper India. Bactria was 
wholly recovered by the king, and it was 
evident that the barbarians, finding a vent in 
another 'direction, would trouble him no 

It was equally manifest that the kingdom 
of the Seleucidse would not again send out ao 
army to interfere with the natural course of 
events in the countries beyond the Euphrates. 
This condition of affairs invited the ambitious 
and capable Mithndates to enlarge his borders 
by war. Of the surrounding countries Ar- 
menia was at thb time the most inviting. Thus 
far only a part — the smaller and less impor 
tant part — of the country had b<*^a brought 
under the sway of the Partbian kings. Ar- 
menia Magna, as the country between the 
Euphrates and the Araxes was called by the 
Romans, still retained its independence. More 
properly, it had been included as a part of the 
kingdom of Syria, and had not been wrested 
therefrom by the Parthians. The country 
was of ancient renown. It had been an object 
of contention and conquest among the great 
conquerors. Alexander had taken it Selen- 
cus had received it. With the decline of the 
Syrian monarchy, Armenia attained a quasi in- 
dependence. A branch of the House of Arsaces 
was recognized in authority over the Arme- 
nians. There had evidently been an uncertain 
war between the country and Parthia. The 
Prince Hgranes was, in his youth, a hostage at 
the Parthian court. Now, at length, the time 
had arrived when a great contention was to 
determine whether Armenia should be joined 



In political fortunes with tlie East or the West— 
with the Empire faaving ila seat beycud the 
Caspiao, or with the Bepublio having its seat 
on the 'Hber. 

For Boroe had now appeared. She had 
tioldly put forth her claim to t&e mastery of 
Europe. One after another of the adjacent 
countries had yielded to her snay. Greece, 
in 196 B. C., had become a Boman province. 
Just fifty years later Carthage was finally ob- 
literated. The countries of tbe Weslera and 
Central Mediterranean presented no further 
obetacle, and Bomaa ambition must pass over 
into Asia Minor and tbe etill remoter East. 
Ab far back as B. C. 190, AntJochus m., of 
Byria, was ruinously routed on the field of 
Magnesia. He was obliged to accept what 
terms soever the conqueror imposed. He was 
compelled to relinquish his 
BUtbority over a lai^ part 
of his kingdom; to give 
up hia elepbsnla of war; 
to surrender — or promise 
to surrender — the fugitive 
Hannibal of great renown; 
and to ^ve his own son 
as a hostage for the ful- 
fillment of the treaty. 
Thus did the Roman Re- 
,^^^ public succeed in obt^n- 

ing a foothold in Asia, and 
It was the custom of that stern Power not to 
relinquish what bad once been acquired. As 
•oon should ne expect the She-wolf nurse of 
the Twin Bobbers to give up her prey Uirough 
the possession of sentiment. 

We pause not in this connection to narrate 
tbe progress of events among the States of 
Asia Minor whereby Rome and Parthia were 
first brought into relations. At the first the 
connection brought friendship rather ^an an- 
tipathy. Mithridates V., king of Poutus, bad 
suddenly risen to great power, and about the 
close of the second and the beginning of the 
first century B. 0. had constructed an Empire 
out of a petty kingdom in Asia Minor. He 
bad made himself and his armies a terror in 
■U the countries west of Armenia. A part of 
that kingdom was added to his dominions. 
Half of Papbl^onia was snatchad away. 

Qalatia was overrun and conquered, and Ca{^ 
padocia was threatened by his ambitiona. 

The king of Armenia was at this tune tliat 
Tlgranes whom we hare mentioned above. 
He seems to have fiivored the project of the 
king of PontuB, and to have made an alliance, 
political and matrimonial, with him. Now it 
was, namely, in the year B. C. 92, that the 
Roman Proconenl Sulla was sent with an army 
into Ana to thwart the Pontine monarch in 
his plans. It happened that tbe Eastern army 
with whom tbe Consul first came to battle 
was the Armenian contingent. This force was 
routed by Uie Romans, and Cappadocia was 
saved from the grip of Mithridates V. As 
for Tigranes, king of Armenia, he had in the 
meantime renounced any ties of friendship ot 
polilical relation with the king of Parthia. 
He had gone to war with that personag , and 
had succeeded for the time in making himself 
master of so much of Armeniaaa had belonged 
for nearly a century to tbe Parthian Empire. 
Thus did Tigranes l>ecome an enemy to boUi 
Mithridates II. and Rome. 

He who is the enemy of your enemy is, in 
politics and war, your friend. It thus came 
to pass that an amicable relation was estab- 
lished between the Parthian king and the 
Roman Proconsul in Asia. The former sent to 
the latter as his ambassador a nobleman named 
Orobazus, bearing a proposal for a league be- 
tween Parthia and Boroe. Tbe well-known 
policy of the Roman Seuate of reserving all 
trea^ rights to itself, forbade Sulla to do 
more than to entertain the Parthian ambassa- 
dor and to encourage by friendliness the over 
tures made by his master. But before any 
positive treaty could l}e effected between the 
leading powers of Europe and Asia, the am- 
bitious and a^ressive l^granes was able to 
work much havoc along the western borden 
of the Parthian Empire. A war of nearly 
ten years' duration, extending to the year 
B. C. 83, ensued, in the course of which tiie 
Armenian king was almost uniformly victo- 
rious. He made successful campaigns into 
Upper Mesopotamia, and tore away no incon- 
siderable territory from the dominions of 
Mithridates. He established and consolidated 
his kingdom on an independent baaia. For a 



Mason Ke exercised sovereignty without the 
slightest obeisance in the direction of Antioch 
tr Ctesiphon or Borne. 

Mithridates 11. went down to death six 
years before the conclusion of his war with 
the Armenians, in which his unsuccess was so 
conspicuous as to cast some shadow on his 
title of "The Great," won in his youth by 
victorious battle with the Scyths. His reign 
covered a period of about thirty-five years, and 
was principally noted in its latter days on ac- 
count of the contact and first relations of the Em- 
pire which he ruled with the Roman Bepublic. 

It happens in the history of most nations 
that after what may be called the first Im- 
perial epoch a period of distraction and de- 
cadence ensues. Success to a nation brings 
the same trials and dangers which it brings to 
the local society or to the individual. The ex- 
ercise of power and the means of gratification 
entail perils and plant pitfalls, and rarely do 
a people escape the one or avoid the other. 
There now supervened in the history of the 
Parthian Empire such a time of retrogression 
and confusion. This was manifested, first of 
all, on the dynastic side. The reader will have 
observed with what regularity the crown had 
thus far passed to the ninth prince of the Ar- 
sacidse. No break or serious disturbance had 
occurred in the Dynasty. But a time now fell 
dut when obscurity came to the royal house, 
and it is not known positively who was the 
next king in order after Mithridates U. It is 
believed, however, that a prince of little repu- 
tation, bearing the name of Mnasciras, prob- 
ably the son of the late monarch, came to the 
throne. Neither from the Behistun inscrip- 
tions nor from the Parthian coins are we able 
to know definitely the course of the succession. 
The events of the years extending from B. C. 
89 to B. C. 76 are so obscure that one may 
almost pass the gap as though it were not. 

In the latter part of this period, however, 
the light returns sufiiciently to enable us to 
see men as trees walking. In B. C. 76 a new 
king, named Sanatrceces, whom we may con- 
sider as the eleventh of the Dynasty, came to 
the throne, and the administration, whatever 
it had been, was quickened into greater ac- 
tivity. It is known that the new monarch was 

already an octogenarian on his coming to 
power. It is also known that he had been for 
a great time a prisoner, or possibly a hostage, 
among the Scythians ; and it is believed that 
his accession to the throne of the Empire was 
effected by the aid of a body of Scythian war- 
riors who returned with him in his old ag9 
from the country beyond the Oxus. Front 
this circumstance we get a glimpse of a con 
dition which had evidently come to pass in the 
Empire. Civil war had ensued, and part of 
the people had no doubt joined in'the recall of 
Sanatroeces. At any rate, the aged hero 
gained the crown, and did something before 
his death to restore the fortunes of his country. 

The period at which we have her< arrived 
might almost be designated in Asiatic history 
as the age of the Armenian ascendency. We 
have seen above with what vigor Tigranes, the 
Armenian king, son-in-law of Mithridates U., 
had followed his ambitions and added to his 
conquests. By him Armenia Minor was con- 
quered and absorbed. From Parthia the 
great and valuable province of Northern 
Mesopotamia was taken. Adiab^n^ also, in* 
eluding, according to the current organization, 
the ancient Assyria, was in like manner torn 
from the Empire by conquest. Parts of Media 
were added to the Armenian dominion,' inso- 
much that Tigranes sent the. dread of his name 
into all the surrounding countries. 

While thus by successful war Armenia was 
advancing to the rank of a first-class Power, in 
South-western Asia, Rome was strengthening 
her position and advancing her interests in all 
the hither parts of the continent. The army 
of the Republic and that of Tigranes were face 
to face, and it was only a question of time 
when one or the other must go to the wall. 
The king of Parthia had cause to fear each 
and both of these tremendous forces as they 
rose on his western borders. He was in doubt 
whether it were best for him to take his 
chances by allying himself with the Armeni- 
ans, and thus recognizing the violence by which 
Tigranes had taken away a portion of the Par- 
thian Empire, or to make a union with Rome. 
In his embarrassment he dealt doubly with 
the question, holding out to each party the 
promise and expectation of favor. 



It is said that LucuUus, the Roman Consul 
now engaged in war with Tigranes, was so 
much offended at the uncertain course taken 
by the Parthian king, that he contemplated 
the abandonment of the Armenian war until 
what time he should make an expedition be- 
yond the Tigris and teach Sanatroeces the folly 
of temporizing with Home. This, however, 
was not done. Tigranes at length fell back 
before the Roman legioiiH, and Parthia was 
delivered from her peril. The reign of Sana- 
troeces ended with his life, about the year 67 
B. C, when he was succeeded by his ; 
Phbaates III. 

Ponipey the Great had now come into 
Asia, and with him the new king was obliged 
to deal. The Roman was engaged in a war 
with Pontus, but he solicited and gained the 
friendship ot Phraates, to whom in retuim he 

pledged the restoration of the provinces which 
had beeit conquered by the Armenians. By 
this means the Parthian king was induced to 
make an alliance with Rome. At the Eanie 
time he became deeply involved with Armenia. 
In that country civil dissentioa had come as a 
paralysis to Tigranes. His son, bearing his 
own name, had entered into a conspiracy and 
become leaderof a rel>ellionftgainst the throne. 
The insurrectiou sooiv came to naught, and the 
young Tigranes fled to the court of Parthia 
for refuge and protection. Phraates espoused 
his cause, and being under promi.-ie to Pompey 
to prevent Armenia from joining Poutua in 
the tield, the Parthian king now fulfilled his 
promise by taking up the quarrel of the refu- 
gee prince and marching into Armenia to 
support him against his father. 

For the time this movement was successful. 

The elder Tigranes fled to the mountains for 
safety, and the younger was proclaimed king. 
But on the withdrawal of Phraates into his 
own dominions, the tide turned, and the re- 
bellious prince was defeated in battle and 
obliged tosave himself by flight. By this time, 
however, the Romans had ended the war with 
Ponlus,and turned with crushingforceagaiust 
Armenia. Tigranes was obliged to yield to 
the Proconsul and to accept his arbitration in 
the affairs of the East. It thus happened that 
by battle and diplomacy Pom pey managed w ith 
Roman energy and skill to gain a place from 
which he was able to balance np Armenia 
and Parthia, the one against the other in Buch 
a manner as to make the hostility of either of 
little accountas it respected his own purposes 
in the country. It has been conjectured that 
the Roman contemplated an immediate war 
on Parthia as the stronger and more danger- 
ous ot the two Powers vith which he must 
ultimately contend. But he was deterred from 
such an undertaking, and chose to employ 
craftand talent rather than the sword in hold- 
ing his position as arbiter of Western Asia. 

Meanwhile in Parthia a deplorablecivilcon- 
dition followed in the wake of Imperial great- 
neKs. The time had arrived when the poly- 
gami system and the personal passions of the 
royal princes brought in the age of conspiracy 
and murder in the king's bouse. A condition 
supervened not unlike that which has dis- 
graced the history of modern times in the 
courts of Persia and Turkey. Phraates III. 
was not permitted to end his reign iu the order 
of nature. His two sons, Mithridates and 
Orodes, formed a plot which reached as high 
as their father's life. He was assassinated by 
them. The elder of the two took the throne 
in B. C. 60, and, like other murderers, found 
it desirable to obliterate the memory of his 
crime with the glory ot foreign war. 

The complaint which he had made against 
his father was the alliance ot the latter with 
the Romans, and the lameness with which the 
late king had permitted himself to be robbed 
by the Armenians under the arbitrationof the 
Roman Proconsnl. MithridatesIII therefore 
proceeded to make war on the Armenians for 



die recovery of Northern Mesopotamia. He 
thns became a breaker of the peace. He was 
enabled, however, to gain his object, and the 
ancient boundary of the Parthian Empire on 
the north-west was restored. The Armenians 
were no longer able to meet the Parthians in 
battle. As for the king, arrogance came with 
conquest. His home administration at once 
revealed the essentially criminal character of 
Hithridates. He became jealous of his 
brother — brother by blood and brother in 
crime — and drove him from the country. 
Other measures of like character followed, and 
it was not long until the Megistanes, whipped 
into courage by the king's folly and wicked- 
ness, rose to the height of action and hurled 
Mithridates from the throne. 

Orodes was now recalled from banishment 
and raised to power. As for the deposed 
monarch, he and his party were placated by 
conferring on him the governorship of Media ; 
but his conduct made it impossible for Orudes 
to tolerate him longer, and he was expelled. 
He hereupon went over to the Romans, where 
he besought the Proconsul Gkbinius, successor 
cf Pompey, to aid him in recovering the Par- 
diian throne. The Roman was about to ac- 
cept his overture, and would doubtless have 
begun war on Parthia had not a dynastic 
complication arisen in Egypt which promised 
a &irer field and a richer reward for Roman 
interference. Mithridates was thus left to di* 
gest his choler io exile. Presently, however, 
he sought reconciliation with his brother, re- 
lumed to Parthia, threw himself upon the 
Hiercy of the king, and was affectionately be- 
headed for his pains. 

This event ended for the time the civil dis- 
tenrions of the Empire, and enabled Orodes I. 
to exercise undisputed sway over the nation. 
The attention of the Romans had now been 
drawn away from the Mesopotamian border, 
and the Parthian king found opportunity to 
foster his ambitions and develop his plans. 
His abilities were of a large order. He aspired 
to become a great conqueror, like the early 
Arsacid kings. His fame grew, and he was 
pnesently able to gain sundiy advantages in 
the way of detaching the petty princes on his 
wastem border from their allegiance to Rome. 

But the time had arrived when in the order 
of events, if not in the necessity of things, the 
growing animosity of the Republic and Parthia 
must be referred to the decision of battle. 

Marcus Lucinius Crassus, member of the 
first Triumvirate of Rome, had now been sent 
out as Proconsul of Syria. He came to his 
province with the intention of a Parthian war. 
Arriving in the year B. C. 54, he deliberately 
formed his plans for the invasion of the Em- 
pire. He organized a great expedition, 
crossed the Euphrates, and began to overrun 
the country. Several of the Greek cities 
yielded without a conflict. Zenodotium, how^ 
ever, resisted his progress, but at length cod» 
sented to receive a Roman garrison. This was 
admitted, and Crassus continued his t^mpaigo. 
But the people- f the city rose on the gar 
risen, and put them to the sword. The Pro^ 
consul then turned about, destroyed the ci^» 
and sold the inhabitants into slavery. 

Thus far the Parthians had kept at a dis^ 
tance. With the coming of winter there had 
been no serious conflict On the whole, the 
Parthians had cause to congratulate themselves 
on the small progress and success of the 
Roman army. It appears that Orodes came 
to the conclusion that little was to be feared 
from the invasion. He conceived a contempt 
for Crassus, and sent to him an embassy with 
such proposals as might well have aroused the 
animosity of an Oriental, to say nothing of a 
Roman Proconsul. Among other things 
Orodes referred with mock sympathy to the 
advanced age of Crassus, and promised in cer- 
tain contingencies to deal with him as he would 
with a dotard. The interview might well be 
made the subject of a drama. Crassus en* 
raged, but still restraining himself, replied thai 
on hU arrival at Seleucia he would send aa 
answer to the Parthian king. Hereupon Va- 
gises, ambassador of Orodes, tapped the palm 
of one of his hands with the forefinger of the 
other, and exclaimed: '* O Crassus, the hair 
will grow here before ever you come to Seleu- 
cia I** Such were the amenities of the winter 
season, when neither party could verify in the 
field the threats and hatreds of the council. 

For the Roman commander the situation 
had become embarrassing. He had projected 



his campaign centrally across Northern Meso- 
potamia. In different parts of the country he 
had been obliged to establish garrisons of oc- 
cupation. Each remove reduced the number 
of his effective forces. Added to this was a 
certain want of knowledge of the enemy's 
country, which confused the Proconsul in de- 
termining his line of advance. It was finally 
determined that the route of the expedition 
should be through Upper Mesopotamia. This 
country ha4 already been entered by the army 
in the preceding summer, but had been given 
up for the winter. This course would bring 
the expedition into supporting distance of Ar- 
menia, and it was expected that the Romans 
would receive from that country a large ac- 
cession of force. 

Meanwhile Orodes had organized his army 
and thrown it forward to confront the enemy. 
His forces were under the immediate com- 
mand of the Surena or Generalissimo, who in 
this instance — though his name has not been 
preserved — appears to have been a military 
captain of the greatest ability and courage. 
For many years he had been one of the princi- 
pal stays of the Empire. Through his agency, 
indeed, Orodes had been confirmed on the 
throne. He had already recovered several 
important places, including the rebellious city 
of Seleucia. The army now sent out to meet 
the Romans under his command was composed 
entirely of cavalry. It had perhaps been 
foreseen that it was by this branch of the 
service that victory might be expected rather 
than from the Parthian infantry. The latter 
was no match for the Roman legionaries, 
whose valor had spread a wholesome fear 
throughout the civilized world. 

The winter quarters of the Roman army 
had been on the Upper Euphrates. Here lay 
the province of Osrhoene, whose prince, Abga- 
rus, though in alliance with the Romans, was 
secretly in sympathy and communication with 
the Parthians. He was intrusted by Crassus 
with a command of light-horse, and was as- 
signed to the duty of scouring the country in 
advance of the army, and of determining the 
loute across Mesopotamia. It has been as- 
serted by Plutarch and others that this treach- 
erous guide purposely led Crassus and his 

forces into a desert region, where water could 
not be found, and where every advantage 
would be on the side of the Parthiaiis in 
battle. Perhaps the inhospitable character of 
the region was exaggerated. But at any rate 
the advance now lay through an open country 
little obstructed by rivers or hills, and well 
fitted for the operations of the Parthian cavalry. 
Of the character of the latter and its method 
of giving battle, sufficient has already been said 
in a former chapter. 

At the same time of the advance of Crassus 
the Parthian army was brought to the front, 
and the two forces rapidly approached with 
every element of determination and passion on 
both sides. At length the conflict was pre- 
cipitated on the River Belik, about midway 
between Carrhse and Ichnse. It was the 6th 
of May, in the year B. C. 54. The Parthian 
army, under the command of the Surena» 
was carefully stationed in half-concealment be- 
hind some woods and low hills in the^neigh* 
borhood. The cavalrymen had been ordered 
to cover their arms with their garments or to 
keep them behind the horses, so that the 
blaze of weaponry might not flash upon the 
Romans in its appalling splendor until the 
moment of battle. 

Crassus came on from the west. His army 
of about forty thousand men was composed 
mostly of Roman legions or heavy infantry. 
To this was attached a body of cavalry which 
the Proconsul had brought with him out of 
Gaul, where it had been organized by Julius 
Csesar. All of a sudden the Parthian drums 
sounded the battle-note. Then the cavalry 
flashed into line, and the charge began. The 
Parthian lines came on at full gallop, but 
stopped short of the legions by the space of a 
bow-shot. Then began such a tempest of ar- 
rows as the invincible legionaries had never 
before been obliged to face. No armor could 
resist the stroke of these fiery missiles. The 
air was darkened by the discharge. The Ro- 
mans could not come at their enemy. When 
they advanced the Parthians receded to a dis- 
tance, firing backwards with the same facility 
as when they halted and faced the enemy. 

Such battle had never before been Jcnown 
in the Mesopotamian plains. The Romans 


■trvre with all their might to close with their 
eliuWe foe, but the Utter puraued the estab- 
lished taclica, and could not be reached. At 
leagdi the bod of Craasus, bearing hia iather'a 
name and commanding the Soman cavalry, 
pot himself at the head of a squadron of six 
tboasaod men, and charged furiously upon the 
Parthians. The latter fell back from the 
onset as if in panic The young Crassua 
prened on after the enemy further and further, 
nntil he was out of raght, whea all of a sudden 
tht Parthian cavalry recovered Itself, threw 
fonrard the wings, and completely surrounded 
the Romans. The latter fought with despera- 
tion. The Gallic boiBemen dismounted, rushed 
among the enemy's horses, seized the spears, 
and stabbed the steeds to death. But no 
nloroonld avaU. The Soman advance under 

were incompetent as beei^ers. Nevertheless, 
they hovered around Carrhn, and cut off the 
city from supplies. 

It appears, however, that the Parthian com 
mander preferred to take no risks as to the 
future. Nothing Aort of the complete dis 
comfiture of Crassus and his remaining forces 
would satisfy. To this end the Surena now 
stooped to treachery. He plotted to inveigle 
the Proconsul into his power. It may not bo 
certainly known whether he contemplated the 
destruction of his enemy's life by perfidyl but 
it !a in the nature of bad faith to bring a mors 
criminal catastrophe than was imagined at the 
outset The Surena, whatever may have been 
his intentions, opened negotiations with tlM 
pent-up Boroans. He rode with unstrung bow 
and outstretched hand into the open space b» 


Ac Tonng Cranos was beaten down almost to 
a man. The commander himself was slain, 
and his head stuck on a pike. 

Again the drums sounded, and the charge 
•n the mun body under the Proconsul was 
nnewed. The head of Crassus* son was borne 
aloft io full view of the Boroans, who now, 
riiattered by the battle, began to recede from 
tlie field. The wounded were abandoned, and 
on the following morning were sl^n by the 
Parthians. Crassus the elder, with the rem- 
nant, succeeded in making his way to Carrhss, 
where he stationed himself behind the ram- 
parts and found a momentary security. It 
was hoped that he could hold his positioo 
nntO what time his ally Artavasdes, king of 
Armenia, could come to his relief. Perhaps 
lU> might have been done, as tbe Parthians 


fore the city, and called out for Crassos to 
come forth and confer with him on the condi- 
tions of peace. The wily Parthian had pro- 
pared for the occasion by letting slip certun 
of the Roman prisoners, into whose ears falsa 
information had first been dropped to the effect 
that the Parthians were anxious for peace and 
friendship with the Romans, and that Crassus 
might easily come to an agreement with the 
Parthian king. These insinuations had been 
carried by the returning prisoners Into Carrha, 
and the R<iman roind was abused to the ex* 
tent of accepting them as true. 

Crassus, however, already beyond his six* 
tieth year, and well informed as to the di^ 
position and character of the Asiatics, wai 
slow to take the bait. But the legionaiiet 
were now thoroughly demoralized, and tha 



Oeneral was urged to avail hiitself of the op- 
portunity. He accordingly weot forth into the 
plain, where a conference was held between 
him and the Surena. Terms of peace were 
discussed and agreed upon; but the Parthian 
insisted that the stipulations should be reduced 
to writing, and to this end the Romans present 
were induced to mount Parthian horses and to 
ride off towards the Surena's tent. Scarcely, 
however, had they started, when Crassus and 
his friends, suspecting treachery, reined up 
the horses, and refused to proceed. The diffi- 
culty grew hot, and one of the Parthians was 
cut down with the sword. Weapons were 
drawn, and all of the Romans, including 
Crassus, were slain on the spot. Thus, far off 
on the Mesopotamian plain, was the rich Tri- 
umvir, who, with Pompey the Great and Julius 
Csesar, had recently divided the world as a fam- 
ily inheritance, done to death on the treach- 
erous sword of a Parthian warrior. 

When Ihe Roman soldiers in Carrhse learned 
the fate of their General, they were in despair. 
Most of them surrendered to the Parthians. 
Some escaped. Altogether ten thousand were 
taken prisoners. These were transferred into 
the heart of the Parthian Empire, colonized 
and absorbed by intermarriage. Of the whole 
Roman army, numbering forty thousand, only 
about one-fourth succeeded in reaching places 
of safety. The disaster was overwhelming — 
wanting nothing to complete its magnitude or 

The immediate result of this, the first war 
of the Romans with the Asiatic Empire, was 
to restore to the latter all the provinces which 
she had possessed on the si<le of Mesopotamia. 
The Euphrates again became the western 
boundary. As for Armenia, that State also 
passed to the Parthian dominion. It will be 
remembered that Crassus, to the hour of his 
death, expected the Armenian king, Arta- 
vasdes, to come to his assistance; but that 
monarch had decided to accept a position 
subordinate to the King of Kings. At the 
very time that the Surena was bringing down 
the Roman eagles on the Upper Euphrates, 
Orodes himself was making an expedition into 
Armenia. This it was that determined the 
friendship of the king of that country. It 

was expedient for him to become friendly. In 
order to cement the ties thus formed, the Par- 
thian king took for his son Pacorus the 
daughter of the Armenian monarch in marriage. 
Nor may we pass from the event without noting 
the manners of the age. While the festival 
was on at the Armenian capital — while Orodee 
and Artavasdes were witnessing the perform- 
ance of one of the tragedies of Euripides — 
the news came of the overthrow and death of 
Crassus and the destruction of his army. As 
usual, in such cases, the head of the Roman 
Proconsul was brought along to confirm the 
intelligence. It happened that in the play 
the Greek actor had to represent a similar 
slaughter by the display of a mock-head on 
his thyrsus. By one of the happy inspirations 
of barbarism, he substituted Hie nal head of 
Crassus! Doubtless the sensation in the royal 
boxes was sufficient. 

In another direction, the drama was con 
tinned in the desert. The Surena, at enmit; 
with Seleucia for her half-treachery to the 
Parthian cause, marched thither, to bring the 
citizens to a renewal of loyalty. He chose to 
spread the report in this direction that Crassus 
was not killed, but was a prisoner in the hands 
of the conqueror. To give verisimilitude to 
his fiction, he selected a Roman, like Crassus 
in personal appearance, clad him in the pro- 
consular insignia, mounted him on a horse, 
compelled him to play his part, and sent after 
him into Seleucia a troop of mockers and 
abandoned women. Going into Seleucia him- 
self, the Surena divulged to the Senate the 
horrid immoralities which he had discovered in 
the literature of the Roman camp — a revelation 
sufficiently disgusting to the people who were 
unable to recognize in themselves a society 
fully as abominable and more perfidious in its 
manners than that of the Romans. 

By this time, however,- the Surena had 
reached the limit of his career. His success 
in the field had been so great as to make him, 
according to the judgment of Orodes, a person 
dangerous to the Empire. The great captain 
was accordingly seized and put to death. The 
command of the army was transferred to 
Osaces, who was presently sent to the Syrian 
frontier, to assist the prince Pacorus in a 



deaoltorjr camp^go, upon which he had en- 
tered in that quarter. 

Ab a matter of fact, Syria and Asia Minor 
vere at this time in n condition to invite con* 
qneet ; not indeed that the Romans were uq- 
able to defeod their poaseBsioiia in the East, 
but the political distractions of Italy were Buch 
M to prevent unity of action. The destnic- 
tioD of the tripartite agreement — known as the 
Trinmrirate — hy the death of Crassus, bad 
left tlie world to two masters, Caesar and Pom- 
pey, the one a representative of the new de- 
mocracy of Borne, and the other the repre- 
sentative of that ancient aristocratic order by 
which the Republic had been dominated for 
many centuries. At this time the orator 
Cicero was Pr&consul of Cilicia, and knowing 
full well the condition of affairs in Asia, he 
hardly overstated the fact to the Senate when 
he declared that Rome bad not a friend on 
that continent. The expedition of Pacorus 
ma<le its way io the direction of Antioch, and 
gained poweatiou of several important places. 
But nfier this the Parthians divided in dif- 
ferent directioDB, one divbion being carried 
■gainst Palestine, and the other led among the 
kingdoms of Asia Minor. If the invaders had 
had the skill to take cities as well as to win 
battles in the field, it would appear that they 
might have destroyed the Roman dominion in 
all the countries east of the .£gean. 

But the Parthians did not avail themselves 
of the situation. At length, in B. C. 49, 
Pompey, being then hard pressed by Ciesar, 
made overtures to Orodes, with a view to se- 
curing his aid against his rival. The Parthian 
king offered to go to the rescue on condition 
that Pompey would deliver what remained of 
the kingdom of Syria to him. But the pro- 
posal was rejected. Soon afterwards came the 
battle of Pharsalia, in which the fortunes of 
Pompey and the aristocratic party were utterly 
swept away. At one time he seriously con- 
templated putting himself under the poweriul 
protection of Orodes. But he was indu<«d 
to cbaoge his mind, and presently took flight 
for Egypt 

Cieear, now completely victorious, was fully 
informed of the condidon of affairs in the 
East He had known the disposition of Oro- 

des to give aid to Pompey. In his own mind 
the vision of a Parthian conquest had fur some 
years been settling into a purpose. But he 
was not yet ready t<> umlertake m vast an en- 
terprise.' After Pharsalia, he returned W 
Rome, and took up the tremendous work of 
reorganizing society on a new Imperial plan, 
with himself at the head. It was not until 
B. C. 44 that he found himself sufficiently free 
from the tremendous CDmplications of the West 
to turn his attention to the conquest of Parthia. 
Like the other designs of that greatest man 
of antiquity, the Parthian war took shape, 
and the first cohorts of the Roman army 
were thrown into Greece, preparatory to 
the great Asiatic campaign. Nor may we 
well pass over this historical bypotheai* 
without conjec- 
turing the result 
had Ciesar been 
permitted topur^ 
sue his purpose. 
Certain it is that 
the FfirthiaoB 
would have felt 
the stroke of the 
strongest band 
which was ever 
laid upon the 
Empire. Cras- 
sus and Pompey 
and Trajan and 
oevems c o m - 

bined could hardly have represented the skill, 
the energy, the persistency, the adroitness 
in diplomacy and war of that matchless Ju- 
lius, whose end was now at hand. His de» 
tiny had at last overtaken him. The Opti- 
mate Conspirators gathered around him in 
the Senate House, and stabbed him to death, 
on the Ides of March, in the very spring 
when the Parthian expedition was to he 

Thus had Orodes the good fortune to wit- 
ness the destruction of all three of ihe prO' 
eminent Romans who had constiiuted the first 
Triumvirate. The Surena had chopped ofl 
the head of Crassus in the desert. A hloiidy 
assassin had cut down Pompey on the shore of 
Egypt The di^^gers of Brutus and Casdus 


had dispatched Cnear in the Senate House. 
Parthia fur the time was freed from all appre- 
bensioD on the side of Rome. 

The reader of history will readily recall 
the dreadful civil war which followed the 
murder of Julius. He will remember the 
Btru^le of the conspirators to undo the great 
historical movemeDt of the age. He will 
(mce more follow the complicatiou which was 
preeeotlj cut with the sword of the victor at 
Fhilippi. Id this dvil war the PBrthirna 
bore a minor part. Bodies of Parthian horse- 
men were on several occasions found in the 
army «f Brutus and Casdus. Marcus An- 
tonioB, who bad received the East for his 
portion of the world, entered into relations 
with Orodes, and sought to join the Icing with 
himself in bis war with Brutus and Cassius. 

Bat the Parthian preferred the other course. 
At length the battle of Philippi was fought, 
and the ancient aristiicracy of Rome was 
backed to pieces under the bloody swords of 
the avengers of Ceeaar. Now it was that the 
three masters of the world were able to divide 
their inheritance. The Second Triumvirate 
was formed, Octavianus established himself 
in Italy. Lepidus became the cipher which 
made the other two figures dgnificant. An- 
tonius found food for his passions in Egypt. 

It appears that Parthia postponed her 
struggle with Rome to an inauspicious occa- 
sion. Pacorus now availed himself of the 
help of the treacherous Labienua, recently 
envoy of Brutus and Gassiua at the Parthian 
Donrt, and organised an army fbr the conquest 
of the country as &r as Antiocb. They 

rushed t*. the field, and Saxa, the Roman 
governor of Syria, was defeated in battle. 
Labienus and Pacorus, having taken Antioch, 
led their forces, the one in the direction of 
Palestine, and the other into Asia Minor. 
Both were for awhile successful Hyrcanns, 
the king of Jerusalem, was ezpoUed, and his 
riva' AntigonuB set in his place under the 
authority of the Parthian Prince. Lab.enoa 
carried hia victoriaus arms through Pampbylio, 
Lycta, and Carta. Hius, by the close of Ihe 
year 40 B. C, nearly the whole of Asia Minor 

It was in the nature of ADtooius to maka 
love and war by turns. S^ ^/as equally fierce 
in the chamber and the field. Learning of the 
condition of affain in the East, he was roused 
to wrath, and resolved to teach the Asiatics a 
lesson not to be forgotten. 
Id 39 B. C. he sent for- 
ward hie lientenant Ven- 
tidiuB with orders to crush 
Labienus and the Parthi- 
ans. On his arrival in 
Asia, Labienua was taken 
by surprise, and waa 
obliged to recede before 
his enemy. Pacorus was 
called to the rescue, but 
both together failed to 
stay the progress of the 
Romans. Labienus wai 
defeated, pursued, taken, and put to death. 
The Parthians receded into Northern Syria, 
and attempted to hold- the pass of Mount 
Amanus, but Ventidius succeeded in securing 
the place, and in driving the Parthians Into 

Pacorus, however, was not willing to relin- 
quish the countries which be had so easily 
conquered. In the following year he renewed 
the war by crossing the Euphrates, and en- 
gaging in battle with Uie Romans. It was in - 
the nature of that soldiery to learn from the 
enemy. The method of Parthian war&re had 
DOW become well understood. Ventidius had 
prepared for the emergency. It was no longw 
the story of Crassus on the Bellk. When the 
Parthians came on to battle, they found the 
Romans well posted to receive them. On 



fnihfaig to the charge, wad before reaching 
liKir favorite dUlaace of a bow-flhot, they were 
aaaailed by the slingerB of Labienus, and a 
(honer of aiagiag stones runed upon them, 
knocking Uiem dead from their horaeg. The 
battle r^^ed furiuusly, but at leugth the Par- 
tbians gave way. Pacorus himself was sUin. 
The Bomana succeeded in securing the bridge 
across the Euphrates, and the retreat was out 
flC The Parthian army was scattered in all 
directjons. The authority of Orodes in the 
Vest and South-west was completely and finally 
^iterated. All the Western proviuces were 
recovered by the Romans. The Euphrates 
Mce eg^n became the boundary between the 
two Empires; but from either side the hostile 
powers glared at each other, outlier miMed 
with the issue. 

We may now torn fbr 
a mom-'nt to note the con- 
dition of afioirs at the ca^ 
ttal of the Em[^. Orodea 
had growD old. His reo- 
enciliation with Pacorus, 
who at one time bad been 
in rebellion against him, 
was complete. Perhaps the 
aged monardi felt a Far- 
tfaiao pride in the military 
tnocesses of bis son in the 
West The death of the 
latter, therefi»e, feO heavily 
apon the Ung. He became 
Salf-insane on account <^ the loss of bis son. 
True, be had thirty other sous, children of 
nrious wives and concubiues, but none of 
ttiem might well take the place of the warrior 
prince who had perished in battle. The 
king, however, felt it expedient to determine 
the snccesrion before his death. He accord- 
In^y dedgaated Phraatea as bb successor, 
and the oholoe was ratified by the Megis- 
tanes. Orodes then abdicated the throne 
in &vor of Us nn. Tlie latter, jealons for 
good leasoo of some of his half brothers who 
were bom of a princess, conspired with his 
mother, wbo was a common concubine, and 
had the prinoes whom he feared put to death. 
The aged flither hereupon r^uked his son, 
•Dd WM Unia^ muidered fer his Interference. 

Thus, in R C. 37, came Phbaatbs IV. to 
the throne of Parthia. Like other royal 
murderers, he was obliged to go forward fn 
the bloody path which be bad chosen. One 
after another, his half brothers and other relar 
lives were assasauated. In the next place his 
jealousy fell upon the noblee, of whom many 
were slain, and others fled. A body of tbem, 
headed by a certain Monseses, made their way 
to Antonius, and represented to bim the con- 
dition of affairs in Parthia. Mouteses besought 
the Roman to enter the country and support a 
counter-revolution in his favor, promising to 
accept the crown at the hands of Antonius, 
and to bold it as a subject of the Roman Be- 

The bait was tempting. Antonina had 

sufficient cause for making war on the I^ 
thians. Time and again they bad entered and 
ravaged the Roman provinces In Syria and 
Asia Minor. Ambition also led him on. He 
aocordingly gathered his forces on the Euphra- 
tine &ontier, and made preparaUons for an 
invasion. Phraatee, informed of these move- 
ments, took the aUrm, and sent for Monffises 
to be restored to honor. Antonius permitted 
him to depart, but sent tdth him an embassy, 
demanding of the Parthian king the restora- 
tion of the Roman standards taken from 
CrasBua, and the liberation of all prisoner* 
who still survived. These demands were not 
complied with, and Antonius continued hit 
preparations for war. His a^regate forcei 
amounted t« a hnndred and thirteen tbooMod 



men. The army was made up of the legions, 
sixty thousand strong, of thirty thousand 
Asiatics who had joined his standard, of ten 
thousand Gallic horsemen, and a considerable 
force out of Armenia. Artavasdes, king of 
the latter country, long balancing his interests 
between Parthia and Rome, had at last as- 
sented to a league with Antonius, and prom- 
ised his support in the ensuing war. 

This alliance enabled the Roman to enter 
the Parthian Empire by way of Armenia, and 
in that direction the expedition was under- 
taken. Antonius, after traversing the friendly 
districts, entered the hostile territory in Media 
Atropat^n^; and here the war began. The 
Romans advanced to the capital and besieged 
the city. Several unsuccessful assaults were 
made; but the place could not .be taken. 
Winter came on, with the siege undetermined. 
Meanwhile the Parthian army got upon the 
flank and rear, and captured or destroyed the 
siege-train of the Romans. The soldiers be- 
came discouraged, and winter bellowed around 
with hurricanes of sleet and snow. Antonius 
was obliged to fall back. He made an effort 
to negotiate, but the enemy laughed at his 
calamity. Nevertheless, Antonius was not 
Crassus. The Proconsul had no notion of 
losing his army or his life. Instead of re- 
treating by the expected route, he sought a 
directer course through a mountain pass back 
to the River Araxes, and by this way he 
managed to reach a place of safety. His 
losses, however, had been very great. About 
forty thousand of his men had perished by 
battle or the severity of the season. Parthia 
might well congratulate herself that the re- 
treat of the Roman army through the winter 
snows, for a distance of three hundred miles, 
was the beginning of the end. Such, indeed, 
it might Lave been but for the treacherous 
condition of all political dependence in the 
countries concerned. 

For no sooner was Antony repelled than 
the Median governor of Atropaten^ quarreled 
with the king about the division of the Roman 
spoils. Suspicion followed suspicion, and the 
Mede concluded that for him the way of safety 
was in an appeal to Antonius. He accord- 
ingly sent an emba^isy to Alexandria, whither 

the Roman had retired to spend the wintei 
with Cleopatra, and tendered to him an alli- 
ance offensive and defensive against Parthia. 
Antonius readily accepted the overture. He 
had become angered at his ally, the king of 
Armenia, who had abandoned him in the day 
of his peril, and was anxious to find a new 
confedarate on the border of the Parthian 

Early in B. C. 34 the Roman general re- 
turned to the army in Armenia, and presently 
succeeded in gaining possession of Artavasdes 
the king. His son and successor was defeated 
in battle and obliged to fly to the Parthians. 
As for the king of the Medes, Antony ce- 
mented the union between that personage and 
himself by marrying the daughter of the 
prince to his son Alexander, offspring of his 
amours with Cleopatra of Egypt. 

During this year nothing was done in the 
field. The attention of Antony had been 
drawn to Europe by the threatening attitude 
of Octavianus. The long accumulating diflS- 
culties between the two Roman leaders was 
rapidly coming to the arbitrament of the 
sword. Antonius was obliged to return from 
Armenia into Asia Minor to counteract the 
movements of his rival. Hereupon Phraates, 
in B. C. 33, renewed the war, and succeeded 
in making the king of Media his prisoner. 
The Armenian monarch Artaxias, recovered 
his throne. The Roman garrisons were ex* 
pelled from the countries which they had oo* 
cupied within the limits of the Empire. 

By this time, however, the civil dissensions 
in Parthia were renewed, and an insurrection 
against the king, headed by a certain Tiridates, 
was for the moment successful. Phraates 
fled to the Scythians, solicited their aid, re- 
turned with an army, and quickly restored 
himself to power. The usurper escaped to Oc- 
tavianus, who was at that time in the East, and 
took with him to that distinguished Roman 
the son of the Parthian king. When Phraates 
demanded the restoration of his son and the 
giving up of the rebel Tiridates who had con- 
spired againi t him,Octavianus refused the latter 
request, but agreed to the former on condition 
flid^ che Parthian would surrender the stand- 
j ards tfKen from Crassus and liberate Jhe sur- 



Tiding Roman prisoners. This demand had 
DOW become habitual with the Romans in all 
their dealings with Parthia. In the present 
case Phraates received his son with gladness, 
but refused to give up the standards or to set 
the Roman prisoners at liberty. 

The reader of history knows full well the 
story of the final conflict between Octavianus 
and Antonius. Hereafter, in the hbtory of 
Rome, we shall record at length the vicissi- 
tudes of the long struggle which culminated 
at Actium. Hereby the peaceable accession 
of Octavianus to the Imperial throne was made 
easy and inevitable. Antonius, following the 
seductions of Cleopatra, fled once more to 
Egypt, and there, after additional defeat and 
humiliation, stabbed himself and died in the 
presence of the woman for whom he had lust 
the world. 

By these events Parthia was again liber- 
ated for a season from the fear of Roman in- 
vasion. But Augustus— rfor by this title Oc- 
tavianus is henceforth known — was little 
disposed, peaceable as were his general inten- 
tions, to permit the afiairs of the East to re- 
main in their present indeterminate state. 
After spending the first ten years of his reign 
in regulating and establishing the Imperial 
(Government, aft;er the pattern given by Julius, 
the Emperor found himself ready to settle 
finally the issue between himself and the Par- 
ithian kiug. Accordingly, in B. C. 20, he went 
in person into Asia, and, partly by menace and 
partly by diplomacy, induced Phraates to sur- 
lender the Crassian standards. However hu- 
miliating the act may have been to the King 
of Kings, he nevertheless yielded to the inev- 
itable and gave up the trophies which signified 
so much to the half-barbaric pride of himself 
and his subjects. The Roman prisoners who 
still survived were permitted to return to 
Europe, and an amicable relation was estab- 
lished between the emperors of the East and 
the West 

It can not be doubted that at this time it 
was definitely agreed that henceforth the River 
Euphrates should be observed by both Powers 
as the true inter-imperial boundary. Such 
agreement was in harmony with the well- 
known theory of Augustus that the Roman 
N.— Vol. 1—37 

Empire had now expanded to its natural limit, 
beyond which neither sound policy nor mili- 
tary ambition could safely carry it To this 
the Parthian king, troubled with dissensions in 
his own dominion, was glad to assent, and 
thus a condition of stability and peace was 
reached in the closing years of the Ancient Era. 
Henceforth for a long time amity existed 
between Ctesiphou and Rome. Phraates se- 
lected the City of the Hber as a place for the 
residence and education of his four sons. 
These were Vonones, Seraspadanes, Rhodaspes, 
and Phraates. 

Once and agun, however — and that with 
respect to the troublesome kingdom of Ar^ 
menia — did hostilities break out between the 
two Empires. The question at issue was the 
old one as to the relative and preponderating 
influence of Rome or Parthia with the Arme- 
nian king. Augustus found it necessary to 
send his son Caius Csesar to the East with an 
army. The Roman prince came to the Eu- 
phrates and was about to begin an invasion, 
when the Parthian. monarch, taking counsel of 
his fears, yielded to the inevitable, and a new 
treaty was made by himself and the young 
CsBsar on an island in the Euphrates. The 
settiement was definitive. The supremacy of 
Rome in Armenian affairs was acknowledged, 
and henceforth Parthia abstained from aggres- 
sion in this direction. Soon after the treaty 
was concluded, Caius Csesar, going into Ar^ 
menia, and being obliged to besiege a town, 
was slain by a missile from the walls. But 
events went forward to their logical conclu- 
sion. Armenia passed under the protectorate 
of Rome, and all beyond was left to the undis- 
puted sway of the Parthian kings. 

Meanwhile the reign of Phraates IV., fif* 
teenth of the Arsacidse, had ended with his 
life, in the year B. C. 2. The crown de- 
scended to hb son Phraatacbs, offspring of an 
Italian slave-girl, whom Augustus had sent as 
a present to his friend, the late king of Parthia. 
To him, rather than to any of the elder sons long 
resident in Rome, the throne passed without 
dispute. But it was not long until the Par 
thian nobles, hating the mother of their new 
sovereign and despising the race to which she 
belonged* rose against Pbraataces, drove him 



from power, and took his life. Having suc- 
ceeded thus by insurrection in undoing the 
existing order, the Megistanes proceeded to 
elect to the throne a certain Orodes, of whom 
little is known except that he was one of the 
Arsacidse. We may conjecture that he was a 
descendant of Orodes, fourteenth monarch of 
ihe line. 

At any rate, about the year A. D. 12, he 
was called home from exile, and given the 
crown. Almost immediately, however, he dis- 
played such qualities of cruelty and vice as 
sickened the nobles with their own work. A 
company of them accordingly inveigled the 
king into a hunting excursion, and availed 
themselves of the opportunity to put kim to 
death. An embassy was at once despatched 
to Rome, to call home Yonones, eldest son of 
Phraates IV, The prince complied with the 
requisition, returned from hb long absence, 
and accepted the crown. But it was soon 
found that his residence in Rome had unfitted 
him for the Parthian throne. He came back 
essentially a Soman, and in a short time the 
alienation between him and his makers was 
complete. Vonones was permitted to reign 
for about three years; but in A. D. 16, or 
possibly the following year, the nobles again 
went into insurrection, deposed Vonones, and 
elected a certain Artabanus, who at this time 
was viceroy of Media Atropat^n^, to the 
throne of the Empire. By a strange vicissi- 
tude, Vonones escaped into Armenia, and was 
made king of that country. 

The action of the Armenians, in accepting 
the refugee Arsacid for their king, could but 
arouse the animosity of Artabanus, and he at 
once undertook to prevent the recognition of 
Vonones by Rome. In this he was successful 
to the extent of obliging Vonones to fly to the 
Roman governor of Syria for protection. 
It became necessary for Tiberius, who had now 
succeeded August^is in the Imperial rank at 
Rome, to send the brave and talented Ger- 
manicus to the East, to regulate the Armenian 
succession. The latter, on arriving at Ar- 
taxata, the capital of Armenia, cut the com- 
plication by raising a European nobleman, 
named Zeno, to the throne, with the title of 
Artaxias, On the whole, this action .wai> 

pleasing to the Parthian king, who in the next 
place requested German icus to banish Vonones 
into foreign parts. This request was complied 
with ; but Vonones, attempting to defeat the 
arrangement by flight, was pursued, overtaken^ 
and slain. 

In A. D. 19 Germanicus died, and Lucius 
Vitellius was appointed to succeed him in the 
government of Western Asia. It was believed 
by Artabanus that Tiberius was in his dotage, 
and that Vitellius was not the equal of his 
predecessor. The Parthian, therefore, imagined 
that he might once more with safety attempt 
the restoration of his influence and authority 
in Armenia. Tiberius, when informed of the 
purposes of the king, sought by an intrigue 
to stir up a rebellion among the Parthian 
nobles, and in order to encourage such a 
movement, sent the young Phraates, a brother 
of Vonones, to the Mesopotamian border 
The prince reached Asia, but the change in 
his manner of life brought on a disease of 
which he presently died. 

Meanwhile, Artabanus had destroyed one 
or two of the leading conspirators against him* 
self Being relieved of present apprehension 
by the death of Phraates, he sent the Roman 
Emperor an audacious letter, in which that 
personage was openly charged with all the 
crimes, vices, and corruptions in the catalogue 
of human sin. In retaliation for this insult 
Tiberius ordered Vitellius to interfere again in 
the aflliirs of Parthia, and in particular to 
maintain his ascendency in Armenia. In that 
country a desultory war occurred in the years 
A. D. 35 and 36. At one time it appeared 
that the armies of Parthia and Rome would 
be brought to decisive battle, but Vitellius 
succeeded in inciting an insurrection before 
which Artabanus fled into Hyrcania. 

In the meantime. Prince Tiridates, son per- 
haps of Rhodaspes, at Rome, was sent into 
Asia as the candidate of Tiberius for the vacant 
throne. The prince entered Mesopotamia, and 
was ^ell received by the Greek cities. He 
was even crowned in Seleucia, and entered 
upon his duties as King of Kings. But the 
movement was delusive and farcical. The 
nobles, native and to the manner born, could 
have no sympathy with a sovereign who bad 


been reerad in Borne. They accordingly went 
into HTTcania, found old Artabaous with hia 
bow and hunting shirt, and induced him to 
head the counter-revolution agunst Tiridates. 
The latter was ohliged to 3y. His following 
melted away, and he was glad to find himBelf 
once more in safety beyond the Euphrates 
among the Romans. 

In the fourth decade of the first century 
the condition of affairs above described con- 
tinued to prevail. Petty hostilities on the 
ude of Armenia recurred constantly, but no 
general war. The empire became involved in 
hostilities with the Jews of Babylon — one of 
the many complications in which that people, 
now dr^ging on to the close of their national 
existence, were involved. But the details, 
though sufficiently bloody and di^raceful, are 
of little interest to the reader of general his- 
■ tory. Events passed in the usual order until 
the year A. T>. 40, when Artabanus was a 
second time expelled from the throne, and 
<Ued after a two years' banishment and a reign 
of twenty-six yeart^ duration. 

The reader will have noted the utter absence 
among the Parthians of royal rank of those 
family ties and affections whereby in modem 
times the kindred of one blood are held in 
unity and trust. On the contrary, the court 
of this ancient people was constantly etuned 
with blood poured fbrth by parricidal or frat- 
riddal violence. On the death of Artabanus 
m. hie sons contended for the throne. At 
first the eldest, Gotarzes, was given the crown. 
But it would seem that his hereditary right 
was soon forgotten on account of his atrocious 
conduct. Scarcely had he risen to power until 
be seized and put to death his brother, Arta- 
banus, together with his wife and son. It was 
evident that, after the Oriental manner, he 
purposed, according to his passion and jealousy, 
to destroy all his kindred. It can not have 
passed attention that for the last half century 
the Megistanes bad increased their power and 
exercised their rights mare freely than at a 
remoter age. In the present instance they 
accepted the challenge and drove the king 
from the throne. His brother Vardanes was 
•aDed home from a distant province and given 
Iha diadam, (Jotuzea was abandoned, and 

obliged to fly to the oountiy of the Dalue, 
where, according to the precedent in such 
cases, he put himself under the protection of 
the Scyths. 

Vardanes came toj>ower without battle so 
far as his brother was concerned, but was 
obliged to take arms against the city of Selen- 
cia> That important metropolis bad never 
lost its Grecian character — had never been in 
political or social sympathy with the Parthian 
nation. We have heretofore remarked upon 
the quad independence of the city and its 
government by a local Senate of three hun- 
dred. Just about the time of the accessioB 
of Vardanes there was a municipal revolt, and 
the authority of the kiug was wholly di^ 
carded. In the year A. D. 42 he brought an 
army against Seleucia and laid siege to the 
place, but it was nearly seven years after the 
revolt before he succeeded in its suppression. 

In the meantime Go- 
tarzes, fretting in banish- 
ment, induced the Scyths 
to support him in making 
war on the king. He 
accordingly organized an 
army, advanced into 
Hyrcania, and was 
joined by malcontents 
until the movement became formidable. The 
two brothers approached each other for batUej 
but Gotarzes, learning that the National 
Council was about to depose both of them, 
sent word to Vardanes, and the two were 
reconciled. The king remained in authority, 
and Gotarzes was made governor of Hyr- 

It appears that the Parthians were for- 
getful of the danger with which they were 
ever menaced from the side of Rome. Not* 
withstanding his treaty stipulation, the king 
now attempted to reassert his power in Ar- 
menia. That country bad accepted its plac« 
as a vassal of the Roman Empire. Vardanes, 
believing himself able to revolutionize the 
Armenian Government, sought the alliance of 
the governor of Adiab^ng, but that personage 
opposed his projects, and remained loyal to 
Rome. Hereupon the Parthian monarch went 
to war with him, but before a rseolt «m 



reached, Gotarzes arose aga'n in rebellion, 
and with a Hyrcaniau army, attempted to 
gain the throne. The king marched against 
him and defeated him in several battles. 
But the nobles presently afterwards enticed 
Vardanes into the chase, and put him to 
death. ~ 

This murder opened the way for Gotarzes, 
who, in A. D. 46, was recognized as king. 
The character of that prince, however, soon 
revealed itself, and the nobles sent an embassy 
to Bome, requesting that the prince Meher- 
dates, son of Vonones, be sent to them for 
the royal honor. The Emperor Claudius, who 
DOW occupied the throne, yielded to the re> 
quest, and Meherdates was sent to Mesopota- 
mia. He soon found himself at the head of 
a rebellious army, and advanced as far as 
Media Adiabdn^. At this point, however, his 
forces began to desert him, and he was 
obliged to recede before the king. Before es- 
caping from the complication into which he 
had rushed, he was betrayed into the hands 
of Gotarzes, who treated him with contempt 
rather than cruelty. 

The kiug, however, did not long survive 
his triumph. In A. D. 51 he died. The 
crown was transferred to an Arsacid prince 
named Vonones, who is believed to have 
been a half brother of Artabanus III.' No 
events of any importance occurred during his 
reign, or at least the record of none such has 
reached posterity. It is believed that his oc- 
cupancy of the throne did not exceed a year 
in duration. Nor is the manner of his death 
referred to by the ancient historians. All that 
is known is that about A. D. 51 or 52 the 
crown was transferred to the king's son Vola- 
GASES I. In entering on his reign, the latter 
appointed his brother Pacorus to a provincial 
governorship, and then undertook the conquest 
of Armenia, in order to procure a province 
for his other brother named Tiridates. 

It appears that at this juncture the Bomans 
were less jealous than usual concerning Par- 
thian intervention in Armenian affairs. At 
any rate, Volagases was permitted to organize 
an expedition, and to advance into the coveted 
territory. He gained therein a footing, and 
raised Tiridates to the governorship. Having 

done so much, the king sent an embassy ta 
Nero to acquaint him with his motives and 
purposes. The Boman Emperor was angered 
at the thing done, and Corbulo, a noted 
general, and Ummidius, at that time Pro- 
consul of Syria, were directed to recover the 
lost possessions of the Empire. The com- 
macders gathered an army on the Armenian 
frontier, but presently opened negotiationf 
with Volagases, and the difficulty was adjusted 
without battle. Strangely enough, the Bomans 
conceded the Armenian kingdom to Tiridates; 
and the Parthian monarch was permitted to 
retire from the country without punbhment 

These events occurred in the year A. D. 
55. It was fortunate for Volagases that he 
was able so easily to extric&te himself from 
the difficulty on his western border. All of 
his energies and resources were now demanded 
in an effort to suppress a rebellion which in 
his absence had been fomented by his son 
Vardanes. Civil war now ensued for the 
space of three years, and the insurrection was 
suppressed. Finding himself no longer op- 
posed, the king turned again to Armenia, and 
demanded that the Bomans should make still 
further concessions in regard to the govern* 
ment of that country. But the latter seized 
the opportunity to recover the ground already 
lost Corbulo occupied the years A* D* 58-60 
with a war against the Armenians, or rather 
against the Parthian party, headed by Tiri- 
dates, and expelled that prince finally from 
the country. The Boman rule was restored 
in full, and Volagases was obliged to content 
himself with an Armenian adminbtration es- 
tablished by his rival. 

By this time the Parthian nobles had come 
to doubt the infallibility of their monarch. 
They charged him with inefficiency in permit- 
ting Armenia to slip from hU grasp. The 
king, resolving to regain public confidence, 
sought to do so by organizing a third expedi- 
tion for the purpose of restoring Tiridates to 
the Armenian throne. But the expedition was 
unsuccessful, and an armistice was declared 
until what time the 'Parthian embassy des- 
patched to Bome might return with the de- 
cision of Nero. The latter sent out as his 
representative and general in the East Lucius 


Ptotna. The latter came into Syria, and joined 
nis forces with those of Corbulo. 

Both generals soon entered the Parthian 
country, Pfetus making the invasion of Ar- 
menia. Winter came on, and the Roman 
commander established himself in a poorly 
fortified camp. Volagases hurried forward 
with a large army, and the poriticm of Ptetus 
became perilous He was surrotinded by the 
Parthians, and obliged 
to capitulate on condi- 
tion of retiring from the 
ootiiitry. The wrecks of 
his forces were joined 
with those of the prudent 
Corl)ulo, to whom the 
eon or TiRDixn It. maintenance of Roman 
interests in the conutry 
was now intrusted. It was in vain that the 
Parthian king sought to induce Corbulo to 
come to an accommodation. The Roman, 
with the opening of spring, advanced into 
Armenia, and reoccupied the territory held in 
the previous year by Pietus. 

Volagases was now thoroughly alarmed, 
and reopened negotiations. Tiridates was 
obliged, on the site of the old camp of Feetus, to 
pull off his royal garments and lay them down 
before a statue of Nero. It was i^;reed, how- 
ever, that the deposed prince should go to 
Borne and receive again his crown at the 
hands of the Roman Emperor. This was ac- 
cordingly done. While Tiridates was permitted 
to reign in Armenia, it was with the consent 
and virtually under the authority of Borne. 

The reign of Volagases was now long and 
peaceful. It is believed that he held the throne 
from A. D. 51 to about A. D. 78, a period 
of twenty-seven years. He reached a good 
old age, and died, bequeathing the crown to 
his BOO Paconis. 

During the remainder of the first century 
of our era, hut few important events occurred 
in the hbtory of the Parthian Empire. After 
the troubles of Volagases with the Romans, 
no further complications with that people arose 
for a considerable length of time. It seems, 
however, that the Parthians, like other bar- 
baiian nations, were not more prosperous in 
peace than in war. It may be conceded that 

war is the natural condidou of a nomadle 
State, just as peace is the normal condition of 
an industrial t-tate. Bii long ae the soil is not 
extensively cultivated, so long as commerce 
does not spring and flourish, so long as manu- 
facturing iudustriea are not created, a people 
must procure for themselves the objects of 
desire by the spoliation of their neighbors. 

Of all the ancient peoples none fulfilled this 
condition more perfectly than did the Par- 
thians. As a result, the comiug of peace was 
the coming of inaction, sluggishueas, and de- 
cay. There were, moreover, during the reign 
of PacoruB, which extended to about A. D. 
108, many internal disturbances which tended 
to the dinntegra^n of the Empire. It ap- 
pears that the old f^odal [oinciple not only 
held Its own against the otnuolidating forces, 
bnt gradually prevailed over them. In timet 
sS peace feudalism, as illustrated in the local 
govemmects of the provinces, was rampant to 
the extent of making the^ feudatories virtually 
independent. Rawlinson has pointed out the 
fact that the history of this period is confused 
by the presence of coins bearing the images 
and superscriptions of sovereigns nukuown to 
the Grecian and Roman authors. Thus we 
find a Vardi'Jies II., and afterwards, between 
the years 62 ind 78 A. D., an Artabanus IV. 
and a Volagiises II., as though such sover- 
eigns had reigned between Volagases I. and 
his son PacoruB. Further on there is a coin 
of Mithridates IV,, for 
whom there is no place 
in the line of the Arsa- 
cidse. Doubtless the ex- 
planatiou is to be found 
in the Cict that many of 
the local governors car- 
ried their independence ^^ 
to the pitch of coining 
money and putting their own effigies and in- 
scriptions on the coins. It might thus happen 
that three or four provincial mints were at 
work in different parts of the Empire at the 
same time. 

On the death of Pacorus, which is assigned 
to the year 108 A. D., the Afegistanes again 
asserted their authority by putting aside the 
two sons of the late king and choosing his 



brother Chosbo^s instead. A reason for this 
action may be found in the youth of the 
princes and in the military experience of the 
king-elect. It might be 8upp<j8ed that by 
this time the Parthians had learned by ex- 
perience the unwisdom of intermeddling with 
the affairs of Armenia. It may be confessed, 
however, that the last compact with the Bo- 
mans was of a kind to encourage the belief 
that Arsacid princes should henceforth wear 
the Armenian crown. Tiridates had been ac- 
cepted in that relation, and reigned to the 
end of his life, at the close of the first cen- 
tury. Pacorus, at that lime king of Parthia, 
had raised his son Exedares to the vacancy, 
assuming either that Bome would offer no 
objection, or else that he should be able by 
arms to enforce his will and authority. 

For the time it appeared that the former 
supposition was realized, and that Exedares 
would be permitted to reign in peace. Tlie 
Roman Emperor Trajan was at this time hotly 
engaged in his war with the Dacians on the 
Danube. This work occupied hia attention 
until the year 114 A. D., when Dacia was 
subdued. Trajan now found time to turn hb 
attention to the affairs of the East. A great 
expedition was accordingly organized and sent 
into Asia, to impress upon the Parthians the 
truth of their forgotten lesson. As the army 
advanced, Chosro^ sought to stay the coming 
storm by sending out an embassy, which met 
the Bomans at Athens. The Parthian pro- 
posed that Exedares should abdicate the Ar- 
menian throne, and that his brother, Partha- 
masiris, should be chosen for the place under 
the auspices and with the consent of Bome. 
The proposition might well have satisfied the 
Roman Emperor, but the latter had determined 
to reestablish his authority in the East on a 
new basis, disregarding all antecedents, and 
aiming only at a permanent and undisturbed 
supremacy. The Parthian ambassadors were 
accordingly sent back to their master, and 
the expedition was carried mto Asia. 

Nevertheless Parthamasiris went to the Bo- 
man camp, presented himself to the Emperor, 
and laid down his crown before him. Trajan, 
however, instead of replacing it on his head, 
letidned the prince, and presently informed 

him that Armenia was destined henceforth ta 
be a Boman province. As for Parthamasiris, 
he was permitted to leave the camp, but was 
pursued by a band of Boman horsemen, who, 
doubtless with the privity and instigation of 
the Emperor himself, recaptured him and put 
him to death. Chosro^ was either unable 
or unwilling to hazard interference with the 
purposes of the murderer of his nephew. Ar- 
menia was yielded up, and a Boman governor 
was appointed to exercise authority over the 
country in place of the Arsacid prince. 

With a high hand and outstretched arm 
Trajan proceeded to overawe all the neigh- 
boring nations and to instill the fear of his 
name. At least two of the Western provinces 
of Parthia were torn away and added to the 
Boman dominion. Everything was settled ac- 
cording to the Emperor's will, and he then re- 
paired to Antioch, where he established his 
head-quarters for the winter. Scarcely, how- 
ever, had he planted himself in the city when 
it was shaken into ruins by one of the most 
disastrous earthquakes recorded in Ancient 
History. The Emperor himself barely escaped 
from the falling building in which he had 
taken his residence. All the Syrian dties 
suffered injury, greater or less, from the dis> 
turbance. The Eastern Mediterranean and 
the iBgean sea were tossed and heaved bj the 
shock, and some of the Greek towns were 
thrown down. 

It appears that Trajan, while in the East, 
in the preceding year, namely, in A. D. 116, 
had made up his mind to attack Parthia ttaelfl 
His plans in this particular were matured in 
the following spring. A Boman fleet was aent 
on wagons across the desert to the Tigris, 
where the vessels were reconstructed and 
launched. It was determined to make Media 
Adiab§n6 the point of attack. Against thia 
country the expedition was now direeted, 
and Chosro^s found himself unable to defend 
his province. He was obliged, by the internal 
condition of the Empire, to hold aloof itom 
the contest and see one of the most important 
countries under his authority overrun by the 

The passion of Trajan was now thoroughly 
aroused. From his conquest of Adiabdnt he 



marched against Ctesiphon, and took the city. 
He traversed Mesopotamia, and captured Bab- 
ylon without fighting a battle. Seleucia re- 
volted, and, following her immemorial prefer- 
ence, fell willingly into the hands of the 
conqueror. The Parthian king retired from 
his capital cities, and went far into the inte- 
rior, drawing after him the Boman army. It 
appears that not even the discerning mind of 
Trajan was able to apprehend the danger to 
which he exposed himself in hb lengthening 
march to the East When he had advanced 
to a great dbtance in that direction without 
being able to bring the enemy to battle, he 
was suddenly startled with t^e intelligence 
that the provinces and cities behind him were 
rising against the Romans. City gates were 
shut on every hand. The soldiers began to 
sufier. The Parthians rallied and returned in 
the wake of the retreat. Not without serious 
losses, vexations, oiu humiliations did tB^ 
Boman army finally succeed in reaching a 
place of safety. The Parthians recovered 
everything except Adiabdne, Upper Mesopo- 
tamia, and Armenia. Trajan himself scarcely 
survived his repulse. He died in 117 A. D., 
and was succeeded in the Imperial authority 
by Hadrian. 

Each party in the conflict, thus ever re- 
newed on the eastern frontier of the Bonian 
Empire, had now learned a lesson from the 
other. Hadrian was not slow to perceive that 
the vaulting ambition of Trajan had over- 
reached itself and fallen on the other side. 
He immediately changed the policy of the 
Empire with respect to Parthia, choosing the 
method of conciliation and concession. Upper 
Mesopotamia and Adiabdn6 were restored to 
ChosroSs. The daughter of that monarch, 
whom Trajan had captured and sent to Bome» 
was returned in honor to her father. In^dk^ 
year A. D. 122 the two emperors met on the 
disputed border and personally adjusted the 
affairs between them. The Parthian king 
lived to about 130 A. D., when the throne 
passed toVoLAOASES II. But the relations of the 
latter to the Arsacid line are uncertain. Most 
authors have made the descent regular from 
father to son, but in this instance the testi- 
mony of the coins and the accepted narratives 

of the Greek and Boman historians are in 
conflict; for which reason the place by de- 
scent of the second Volagases in the diagram 
of the Arsacidse has been indicated by the line 
of doubt. 

The new reign was one of peace. The 
agreement between Hadrian and Chosroes was 
on the whole well kept It seems, moreover, 
that at this time the feudatories were less 
troublesome — less disposed to advance their 
own claims to independence — than they had 
been during the preceding half century. In 
only one instance was the peace of the Empire 
under Volagases II. seriously broken. At this 
time a certain Pharasmanes, king of the Ibe- 
rians, had become in his own esteem an im* 
portant personage in Western Asia. Himself 
a feudatory of Bome, he dared to treat Har 
drian and his authority with contempt. To- 
wards Volagases he held a similar insolent 
attitude. At length he instigated the bar* 
barous nation of the Alani to pass the Cauca- 
sus and plunder Cappadocia and Atropat6n& 
The first of these States belonged to Bome ; 
the other, to Parthia. Volagases found cause 
to complain to Hadrian of the conduct of hit 
vassal. The Boman governor Arrian sooa 
drove the Alani out of Cappadocia, but 
neglected to expel them from Atropat^n^ The 
Parthian king for his part — ^being no warrior- 
was constrained at length to purchase the re- 
tirement of the barbarians with much gold. 

Volagases reigned until A. D. 149. Hi^ 
drian had died eleven years previously. The 
latter was succeeded in the Imperial dignity by 
Titus Aurelius, first of the Antonines. Sooa 
after his accession, a passing gust of ill feeling 
was created between the two Empires by the 
attempt of the Parthian king to recover the 
golden throne of his ancestors which Trajaa 
had captured in Ctesiphon and sent home to 
Bome. It was claimed by the Parthians that 
the amicable relations now existing between 
the East and the West warranted and de- 
manded the surrender of the trophy. But 
neither Hadrian nor his successor was willing 
to give it up. 

As for the Parthian succesdon, that fell te 
Volagases III. , son of the late king. ' He was 
destined to the longest reign which ba4 evfV 



yet occurred in the aDnals of the Arsacid 
kuigs. At the beginniog of his reign his am- 
bitions incited him to hostility with Home. 
He made preparation for a war, but a remon- 
strance and rebuke from Antoninus Pius pre- 
vented the outbreak. Nevertheless the Par- 
thian cherished his purpose, and in A. D. 161 
he began a war by invading Armenia. The 
Partbians had never been satisfied with the 
protectorate of Rome over that country. 
They had always sought, when the opportunity 
was present; to restore their influence by es- 
tablishing on the Armenian throne a prince of 
the Arsacidse, to the end that the two countries 
should be and remain in political and military 

An opportunity to reassert the ancient 
daim was afforded by the death of the first 
Antoninus and the accession of his son, the 
justly celebrated Marcus Aurelius. The Par- 
thian king was successful in his Armenian 
campaigns, and a certain Tigranes,'hb kins- 
man, was made king. Hereupon Severianus, 
prefect of Cappadocia, accepted the challenge, 
and marched against the Parthians. Crossing 
the Euphrates, he .was met, near Elegeia, by 
the army of the king, was driven into the 
city, besieged, and in a short time destroyed 
with all his forces. The Parthians now as- 
sumed the offensive, an] made a great cam- 
paign into Syria and Palestine. Such high- 
handed proceedi^^gs roused great animosity at 
Bome, and an army under command of Lucius 
Verus, brother of the Emperor, was sent at 
once to the East. On his arrival in Asia, 
terms of accommodation were offered to the 
Parthians, but were rejected with scorn. The 
lieutenants of Verus then threw forward the 
army from Antioch, and in A. D. 163 Vola- 
gases was routed in the battle of Europus. 

Meanwhile, a revulsion took place in Ar- 
menia. Statins Prisons and other generals of 
the Boman army marched into that country, 
and Tigranes was driven from the throne. It 
could not be expected that after thus hurling 
back the Parthians into their own country the 
Bomans would forbear to follow up their suo* 
cesses with invasion. Cassius received from 
the Emperor the appointment of Captain- 
general, with instructions, or at least permis- 

aon, to carry the war into Parthia. The 
advance was begun under favorable auspices, 
and a battle was fought at Sura, in Mesopo- 
tamia, in which the Bomans were victorious. 
Cassius then advanced on the great city of 
Seleucia, which he besieged, took, and de- 
stroyed. Ctesiphon met the same fate. The 
king, hb government and his army were 
obliged to fall back into the interior. Media 
was overrun by the conquerors, and for the 
time it seemed that a greater than Antonius 
or Trajan had come. 

At the crids of the war, however, when it 
seemed that the Parthian Empire was about 
to be overthrown, a strange and terrible pesti- 
lence broke out in the Boman army, and the 
soldiers began to die by hundreds and thou- 
sands. Superstition contrived for the malady 
a supernatural origin. It was said that a cell 
in one of the temples at Seleucia had been 
broken open by the solvl'ers, and that a spirit 
of death had issued forth to punish the sacri* 
lege. Terror and disease combined to ruin 
the expedition. The army receded from Asia 
into Europe, spreading the pestilence in its 
wake. Only a few of the soldiers survived, 
and Italy was so greatly infected as to lose a 
large percentage of her population. 

Thus in disaster ended the most successful 
campaign — so far as its military progress was 
concerned— 'which the Bomans had ever made 
into Parthia. It would appear that the Par- 
thians were not foolish enough to underrate 
the injury which they had suffered. Tliey 
were intelligent enough to perceive that the 
pestilence rather than their own valor had 
saved the Empire from conquest and per- 
haps disruption. Volagases, therefore, was 
satisfied to have peace by the cession to Bome 
of the province of Osrhoene, which remained 
henceforth a part of the Boman dominion. 
Parthia was obliged to accept the humiliation. 
Her two great cities had been leveled to the 
ground. Her army was no longer able to 
contend with the legions of Bome, even when 
the latter were commanded by lieutenants. 
Civil contention had tended powerfully to 
weaken the monarchy. The me^od of mutual 
assassination among the Arsacid princes had 
prevailed so long as to become a precedent of 



polltka) action. More than all, die vice of 
race had prevented the emergence of the people 
into the higher forms of civilization. Neither 
literature nor art had appeared with its regen- 
erating influence to renew, vlvifj, and en- 
lighten the natioQ. It would seem that the 
spirit of Volagaeea himself 
was hnmbled or broken. 
Aiter the destruction of 
his capital, he reigned for 
fully aquarter of a century, 
but gave little agn of 
those ambitions which had 
fired the enei^es of his 
youth. Only in a single 
instaocfl did there appear 
ft likelihood of the renewal 
of war with the Roman Em- 
pire. Casslus, great in the 
recollection of his Asiatio 
campaign, became an In- 
nirgent in Syria, where he 
waaincommand.andiD the 
y»ar A. D. 174 proclaimed 
■ himself Emperor in that 
country. Between him and 
Volagases hostilities were 
imminent, when the Boman 
army out of Europe ai^ 
rived ID Syria, and the r^ 
Tolt of Caauus was put 
down with a strong hand. 
The Boman Emperor, al- 
ways incliaed to peace, 
readily accepted the over- 
tnree which were now made 
by the Parthian king, and 
the kng existing amicable 
reladons between the two 
Powers were fully restored. 
With the death of Mar- 
DOS Aureliiis, la the year 
A. D. 180, the Roman 
throne went to his son Commodus, infamous 
in the aonalfl of the Empire. Volagases sur- 
vived his contemporary for eleven years, dying 
in the year 191, and bequeathing his crown 
to hb son VOLAQASBB IV. 
• The reader of history will rendily recall the 

Commodus was murdered, and the Imperial 
throne was presently claimed by several com- 
petitors. In the £^1, Pescennlus Niger set 
up his banner and claimed the diadem. In 
the West, Severus was acknowledged at Rome. 
Other claimants arose in the persons of Albi- 



nus and Julianiia. When Niger perceived 
that he must take by the sword the crown to 
which he aspired, he sought the aid of the 
Parthian king. The latter was wary of the 
proposed alliance. One of his dependents, 
the satrap of Hatra, joined his for> 

voorw of events at this epoch in the West. I tunes with the Roman pretender, and sent to 



him a body of troops. On the whole, how- 
ever, the Parthian nations were disposed to 
take advantage of the civil war in the West, 
and to expel the Bomans from Mesopotamia. 
They seized the places which had been occu- 
pied for generations by Soman garrisons, and 
demanded that all Europeans should retire 
from the country. 

Meanwhile, Severus triumphed over his 
enemies, and at once undertook to restore the 
Imperial authority beyond the Euphrates. 
This work was accomplished with comparative 
ease. Not only wis Mesopotamia overrun, 
bnt Adiabdn^ was entered and occupied. By 
the time this work was accomph'shed, however, 
namely, in the summer of A. D. 195, a new 
complication had arisen in Italy, and Severus 
was obliged to hurry to the West 

It was hoped by Volagases IV. and his 
flobjects that the retirement was final, and 
hostilities were immediately renewed. Not 
only in Adiabdn6, but in Mesopotamia also, 
the Roman garrisons were attacked and either 
destroyed or expelled from the country. 
Syria was entered and terrorized; but Sev- 
erus had by this time restored order in the 
West, and hastily returned to prosecute the 
Eastern war. The Parthians were hurled 
from Syria. In A. D. 197 a Roman army 
was sent into Armenia, and the protectorate 
of the Empire over that province was re^- 
tablished. Tlie Parthian king had a personal 
conference with Severus, and gave his sons 
faito the hands of the Emperor as hostages. 

It seems, however, that the Parthian king 
was no longer able to control the destinies 
of his Empire. The Mesopotaraian provinces 
and cities were hostile to the Romans, and 
Severus had to send detachments of his army 
to bring them into subjection. One after an- 
other the hostile parts were invaded and sub- 
dued. Ctesiphon, which had in the mean time 
been rebuilt and reestablished as the capital, 
was the next object of attack. The Romans 
carried the city by assault, and Volagases 
saved himself from capture by fleeing into the 
interior. The city was plundered by the in- 
vaders, and a great part of the inhabitants 
put to the sword. Again it appeared that the 
Parthian Empire was at the verge of extinc- 

tion; but the supplies of the Roman army 
failed, and it became necessary for the Emperor 
to retire. In doing so he sought to take, en 
r<niie, the city of Hatra. But in this project 
he was unsuccessful. The Parthians rallied, 
and Severus found it expedient to retire into 
Syria. In this case, however, the Parthians 
did not pursue. The damage done to Vola- 
gases and his Empire had been so great that 
he did not dare to follow his retiring antago- 
nbt. Severus remained in the East until the 
year A. D. 201, having in the interval re- 
stored order in all the countries to the limits 
of the Roman Empire. 

As for Volagases IV., his reign extended to 
the year 209, while that of Severus continued 
for two years longer. It was the misfortune 
of the Parthian sovereign to leave a disputed 
succession. His sons Artabanus and Vola- 
gases contended for the crown. It is believed 
that hoik of these princes reigned as contem* 
poraries in different parts of the Empire. But 
Volagases V. was displaced about 216 A. D., 
and the sole dominion remained to Artabanus 
IV. The latter was recognized as king by the 

In the West, Caracalla succeeded his father 
Severus in the year 211. At that time civil 
war existed in Parthia between the two brothers 
who were contending for the crown. Tte new 
Roman Emperor was ambitious, from the day 
of his accession, of winning fame by war, and 
since the opportunity did not offer in the 
West, he turned his attention to Asia. Not 
satisfied with having Osrhodne reduced to a 
Roman province, he sought to bring the an- 
cient and oft-disputed kingdom of Armenia 
into like relation with the Empire. He man* 
aged by treachery to seize the Armenian king 
and his family, whereupon the subjects of the 
captive monarch took up arms. Fighting 
with desperation, they succeeded in winning 8 
victory over the Roman lieutenant who wai 
sent to subdue them. 

Nevertheless, Caracalla continued his ex- 
actions and oppressions, and sought a quarrd 
with the Parthian king. He himself went to 
Antioch, and established there his capitaL 
Soon afterwards he opened with the Parthian 
monarch negotiations of an extraordinary kind. 



Tlie itudent of Roman history is well aware 
of the desperate character of Caracalla, and ia 
prepared to expect all manner of treachery at 
hit hands. In nothing, however, was the 
deep-seated perfidy of bis nature more fully 
revealed than in the traosaction iu which he 
now engaged with Artabanus IV. He sent 
an embassy to that eorereign bearing a letter 
in which the Boman traversed at length the 
relations existing between the two Empires, 
and ended by asking the Parthian to give him 
bis daughter in marriage. By this means the 
two great Powers of Europe and Asia would 
be united in a common destiny. The sur- 
roundiog barbarian nations could be easily 
reduced by war, and thus the two great Pow- 
«rs of Europe and Asia be brought under a 
angle scepter. 

The Parthian king was 
•taggered by this astounding 
proposal, but seeing that war 
was intended in cose of a 
refusal, he first temporized 
and then yielded to the de- 
mand. The Boman Em- 
peror hereupon set out ib 
great state, with a strong 
military force, to visit the 
Parthian capital and re- 
ceive hia bride. On arriv- 
ing at Ctemphon he was 
received with corresponding 
pomp in the plain before the 
city. But while the ceremonies were pre- 
paring, and the conference of the sovereigns 
no more than begun, a signal was giveu, and 
the Roman soldiers rose with drawn swords 
upon the PartbiaoB. The latter were buteh- 
ered by thousands. The Iciug himself barely 
eecaped the common fate. Ctesipbon was 
taken and plundered, and the Romans, ladeu 
with spoils, set out on the return through 
Babylonia. On the way Caracalla directed 
his march through the ancient necropolis of 
the Parthian nobility at Arbela. Here the 
Romam paused and tore open and ravaged 
die tombs. Thence they continued the march 
to EdesBB, where the Emperor established 
himself for the winter of 21&-17. In the fol- 
lowing spring he made preparations to renew 

hia barbarous and wanten war, but in April 
of this year he was assasamBted in the temple 
of the Moon-god, at Carrhie. 

So far as Caracalla possessed the right te 
the Imperial diadem of Rume, the same wa« 
now transferred to Macrinus, who to the vices 
of his predecessor added a cowardice of his 
own. He would fain have come to an accom- 
modation with the Parthians, but the latter 
were now angered to desperation. In the 
negotJatioDS that followed' Artabanus made 
such demands as could not be accepted even 
by a poltroon. Macrinus was accordingly 
obliged to put forth his army and take the 
hazard of battle. The hoetile forces came 
together near the city of Nisibis, at this Ijma 
the metropolis of Mesopotamia. Here tbe 

question was finally decided whether the power 
of Rome should be extended over the Great 
Plateau of Iran, or whether the line of do- 
markation which Augustus bad pointed out 
should remain as the thu^ar of Roman domi- 
natJon in tbe East. 

Both armies as they came blether were at 
their best; but the Parthians were the more 
ably commanded. The battle began with a 
local struggle between divisions of the two 
forces for the possession of a stream which 
was to furnish water. A hard-fought engage- 
ment terminated indecisively, and the armies 
rested for the night. On the following morn- 
ing the conflict was renewed, and all day long 
the battle raged with fury. One division of 
the Parthian army was composed of a body 



of soldiers mouDted on camels, and armed 
with long spears against which it was difficult 
for the Romans to stand. In falling back, 
however, they sowed the ground with tribuli, 
which, piercing the camels' feet, ended the 
charge. Again night came on with the battle 

On the third day, however, the Parthians 
began to gain. Their cavalry wings were ex- 
tended right and left, and seemed to envelop 
the legions. These were obliged to thin ranks 
in order to confront the enemy. Hereupon, 
by rapid evolution, the Parthians concentrated 
their forces, charged after their furious manner, 
and drove the Romans from the field. The 
latter sought safety in their camp, and were 
in peril of destruction. But the Parthians, as 
well as their foe, had suflisred enormous losses, 
and when Macrinus opened negotiations, Arta- 
banus was willing to grant more liberal terms 
than might have been expected from such a 
victor on such a field. He, however, de- 
manded and received a sum equal to about 
seven and a-half million dollars as an indem- 
nity for the injuries inflicted on his people and 

Such was the end of a conflict which had 
extended through nearly three centuries of 
time. The Romans and the Parthians fought 
no more battles. Of all the outlying countries 
of Europe or Asia, only the Parthian Em- 
pire had been able to interpose an immovable 
bulwark against the aggressive ambitions of the 
race of Romulus. It might well appear that 
now, when the conflict had been fiuallv decided 
against the Romans by the sword — when the 
Emperor Macrinus himself had been obliged 
to fly from the field of Nisibis in order to save 
his life — the Parthians would revive from their 
depression and enter upon a new career of de- 
velopment. Destiny, however, had written it 
otherwise. That which a foreign enemy had 
been unable to accomplish was now to be 
brought about by internal violence. Through 
the whole history of the Empire, the disrupt- 
ive forces had been at work. The provinces 
had been held together with the greatest diffi- 
culty. Time and again we. have referred to 
the fact that no stronger political tie than the 
Feudal principle had been discovered where- 

with to bind the nations and peoples, brought 
under a single dominion by Mithridates, into 
one great community, having common interests 
and common conditions of life. This circum- 
stance was the element of weakness which had 
ever menaced the stability of the Empire, and 
out of this was now to spring the great catas- 
trophe by which the Parthian dominion was 
to be subverted. 

It remained for Persia — that is Persia 
Proper — to become the agent of disruption. 
The reader will remember that it was under 
the auspices of Persia that the former great 
Empire had been created on the Iranian 
Plateau. With the conquest of Alexander, 
the ancient Power was destroyed, and Persia 
became a tributary kingdom in the new do- 
minion established by the Arsacidse. It ap- 
pears thAt the Persian kings had had, during 
the Parthian ascendency, a show of respect, a 
degree of importance, which might not be 
paralleled among the other feudatories of the 

There were, however, seHous causes of dis- 
content among the Persians. The tradition 
of their old-time glory, the memory of the 
deeds of Cyrus and Darius Hystaspis still lin- 
gered among the people. Outside of the 
Greek cities no other province of the Empire 
was comparable with Persia in culture and re- 
finement. The ancient religious faith tended 
to pride of race and contempt for the Pagan 
States. The Imperial Government had for 
several centuries pursued a tolerant policy in 
matters of religion, granting no exclusive favors 
to any particular faith. This policy wad a 
matter of great grief to the Persian Magi, who 
had all the haughtiness and bigotry of Asiatic 
Pharisees. To be placed on a level with the 
servants of the other gods of the T^-irthian 
Empire was a thing intolerable to the Persians 
of the ancient sacerdotal order. The secular 
offices within the limits of Persia were gener- 
ally filled by Parthians as against the claims 
of native warriors and statesmen. Notwith- 
standing their great lineage and glorious his- 
tory, the Persians were unable to see that they 
enjoyed any advantages — civil, religious, or 
social — over the rude and half-civilized nations 
of the Northern provinces. The reasons for 



rebellion were thus deep-seated in the coDstitu- 
tion and history of the State, and nothiog 
but opportunity was wanting for a great in- 

At the time of the battle of Nisibis the 
under-king of Persia bore the famous name 
of Artaxerxes. He appears to have been a 
man of extraordinary ambitions and great 
force of character. It is believed that he was 
himself a Magus, profoundly instructed in the 
mysteries of the ancient faith, and deeply de- 
voted to the religion of his countrymen. It 
were impossible to tell, in the absence of con- 
temporary evidences, the precise motives by 
which the Persian king was influenced in rais- 
ing the standard of revolution. Certain it is 
that one of the leading impulses of the re- 
bellion was the hoped-for restoration of the 
ancient Zoroastrian faith, which had for so 
long a period been reduced to the level of a 
pagan cult But we may well believe that 
the Persian under-king was influenced in haz- 
arding his fortunes on the issue of* civil war 
by political and warlike ambitions, as well as 
by his religious zeal. He perceived in the 
Parthian situation a great opportunity. A 
pretender to the Imperial crown, named Vola- 
gases v., had appeared in the field. He 
claimed to be a representative of the Arsacid 
dynasty, and was not without a considerable 
support in difl*erent provinces. It is believed, 
moreover, that Hyrcania had already fallen 
away from its allegiance to the Empire. Many 
other circumstances, the nature of which it is 
diflicult, after so great a lapse of time, to ap- 
prehend, were doubtless potential in exciting 
and directing the revolutionary movement 
which now broke out in Persia, under the 
leadership of Artaxerxes. To him it now re- 
mained, in the same year of the final repulse 
of the Bomans, to raise the standard of suc- 
cessful revolt against Artabanus. 

It would seem that Artabanus had suffered 
so greatly from hb recent Roman wars with 
Commodus, Caracalla, and Macrinus, as to 
be unable to bring into the field against the 
revolted country an army of sufficient strength 
and resources for the work. At any rate, 
when the two forces — the insurrectionary on 
the one side, and the Imperial on the othej 

came together on the plain of Hormuz, the 
king's army was beaten in battle, routed, and 
driven to the four winds. Artabanus himself 
was slain, and the victory of the Persians was 
so complete that there was little hope of re- 
viving the national cause. Some of the Ar- 
sacid princes sought to restore the fortunes 
of their House, and desultory fighting con- 
tinued through another year; but the army of 
Artaxerxes triumphed more and more, and he 
was soon enabled to compel the last represent- 
ative of the ancient dynasty to submit to his 
will. Thus by conquest and a complete re- 
version of political relations was the Em- 
pire founded by Arsaces, and developed and 
defended by the great kings of the second 
century B. C, crowded to the precipice, and 
hurled down into darkness and oblivion. 

The causes of the subversion of the Par- 
thian Power are easily discoverable, even from 
the rapid survey here presented of the history 
of the Empire. In the first place, the exist* 
ence of feudalism in its Asiatic form had pre* 
vented the complete union of the many prov- 
inces and dependencies constituting the Imperial 
dominions. Time and again we have pointed 
out the disastrous results of the loose con- 
federative system on which the Empire was 
founded. The different peoples thus vaguely 
combined under a single government retained 
too great a measure of independence and sov- 
ereignty for the welfare and stability of the 
central administration. The feudatories never 
coalesced to the extent of forming a consoli- 
dated union. The Empire was merely a league 
of States ranging in character from half-bar- 
baric to civilized and refined. Over these dif- 
ficulties of government a common language, 
common institutions, and a common spirit 
could not well prevail. 

In the next place, the family of the Arsacidse 
branched oilt into subordinate sovereignties, any 
one of which might aspire to the hegemony 
of the Empire. The Arsacid princes, in the 
second century B. C, felt no longer the strong 
tie of kindred. They were not sufficiently 
advanced in statesmanship to understand that 
the interests of each were subordinate to the 
interests of the dynasty as a whole. The di- 
verse motherhood of the princes often aggra* 



TEted tbe existing cooditioa; for when have 
the tffo mothers of the sods of a common 
bther forborne to quarrel and hate and mur- 
der in the supposed interest of their own 

Doubtless, moreover, there was, to a certain 
extent, a'dynaatic decay in the Arsacid family; 
but this was little noticeable in the general 
condition at the beginning of tbe third ceo- 
tury. Artabanus fought valiantly, and was 
victorious over the Romans. Evcd after him 
Prince Artavaades, who sought to shore up the 
&lling monarchy, struggled hard to suatain the 
fortunes of his House. But the effort was iu 
vain, and the Empire went down headlong to 
niiD.under the impact of the Persian Rebellion. 

In the course of the present Book the 
reader's attention has been carried forward from 
the time of the destructioii of the Persiaa 

Empire by Alexancler the Great to the over- 
throw of tbe last of the Arsacid kings, and 
the revival of the Persian Power under Ar- 
taserses Ardishir, founder of the Sassanian 
Dynasty. He is now asked to retrace bis 
course to tbe point of view which he occupied 
at the beginning; to stand again on the field 
of Arbela ; to note from that poiut of obser- 
vation the conquerors rather than the con- 
quered ; to cast his eye to the far West in the 
direction from which those conquerors came — 
to Macedonia, to the .£gean archipelago, to 
the main-land of aociOTt Hellas — and to take 
up, as his next great lesson in the progreas of 
human history, tbe story of those Hellenie 
peoples, to whom,' without reserve, the heroic 
praise may be accorded of tbe most intellectual, 
the most witty, the moat fascinating, the moit 
artistic, and the most poeUc race of men. 

nmn ovm doobwit or nuPLi, bitka. (After B«n.> 

1>^ :':.'■]■ 
G K i-: i :c: j :. 


This elegant etching Ey ^riiett Shar^, fk>m Kllmsch's famous 
of^ tljie be^utj; and .grace of the Grecian 
;asii;ig aHof their Itomes and Borroundinga. 
«( thai, :^ifffian- lifgw? to emerge from her 
4tel, to a xeaogniz^ poaition alongside of 
^wn ,to ills fiiom (K^t period such well 
«tiai Antigomh Pea^two, Aodronuiche, 
tin-Spartan mothers,. 

(• Ill-J 


8J5II0 xaano '^caracns 


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Chapter XXXVI.— The Country. 

REECE, the eaatermost 
of the three peDiusutas 
which from the south of 
Europe drop into the 
MediterraaeaD, was in 
her palmy days the sceue 
of the most extraordinary 
activities ever displayed by the human race. 
The name Greece waanotgiven to the country 
by the Greeks themselves, by whom the laud 
was immemorially called Hellas, and them- 
selves Hellenes. The words Greece aud 
Greeks were brought into use by the writer^ 
of Rome, who for some reason adopted the 
name of the petty tribe called the Graxi as 
ao appellative of the whole race. 

A sketch of a land so noted as Hellas can 
hardly fail of interest. The country lies be- 
tween parallels thirty-six aud forty of north 
latitude, and the meridians tweuty-one and 
tweDty-eix of longitude east from Greenwich. 
The length of the peninsula from Mount 
Olympus to the southernmost cape is two hun- 
dred and fifty miles, and the breadth from 
Attica to Acaruauia one hundred and eighty 
miles. The area— though difficult of exact 
determination — may be fairly estimated at 

thirty-four thousand square miles — a district 
but little larger than the State of Indiana; 
but this estimate does not include the many 
Greek islands, proximate or mora remote from 
the main-land, which, inhabited by the same 
race and running the same course in history, 
might well be included in the aggregate 

The peninsula is sharply defined on the 
north by the Olympian and Cambunian moun- 
tains. These have a general course from east 
to west, and ext«nd from tlie Thermaic gulf 
to the promontory of Acrocerauuia, on the 
Adriatic. But the country lying south of 
this range includes not only Greece Proper 
but also Epirus on the west. T'le transverse 
range, which constitutes the fundamental fact 
in the geological structure of the peninsula, 
is called the Pixnua, which, starting from the 
southern slo|>e of Olympus, strelclies south- 
ward, aud dividing and branching aud sink- 
ing in elevation, straggles through the 
Isthraus and Unally terminates in the cape or 
headland of T^narus. Epirus and Thesaaly 
in the north are thus divided by a lofty chain. 

On the east side of Pindus, below Thessaly, 
the spur-range of Othryb strllies off to the 



coast, thus inclosing between itself and Olym- 
pus the Thessalian Plain. Further to the 
soutn the range called (Eta departs to the 
east and reaches the sea at the Euboean strait. 
At the eastern extreme of this elevation is 
the pass of Thermopylae. From the branch- 
ing off of CEta the Pindus chain begins to- 
divide. One range stretches to the south-west 
across iBtolia, and descends to the level at 
the Gulf of Corinth. The other branch runs 
to the south-east, and numbers among its 
heights the famous peaks of Parnassus, Heli- 
con, Cithseron, ^galeus, and Hymettus. In 
Peloponnesus the descending heads of Pindus 
are known by the names of Olenus, Pana- 
chaicus, Pholoe, Erymanthus, Lycseus, Par- 
rhasius, and Taygetus. It only remains to 
note that the eastern prolongation of Olympus 
is known as Ossa and Pel ion. Tlie range 
here drops away to the south-east of Thessaly, 
and after disappearing under the sea rises in 
the ridge of Euboea, and then breaks into the 
Cyclades, of which Andros, Tenos, Myconos, 
Naxos, and many others are but the uplifted 
heads of submerged mountains. Taken all in 
all, Greece is, in respect of geological forma- 
tion, one of the most mountainous countries 
in the world. The so-called "chains" which 
traverse the region south of Olympus are 
scarcely chains at all, but rather a mass of 
elevations branching off laterally and turning 
from their course until the whole land seems 
but a multitude of heights, promiscuously ar- 
ranged, not very aspiring, sinking in green 
slopes to the level of the surrounding seas. 

In such a country lakes and small rivers 
are likely to abound. Of the latter the 
Grecian streams most noted are, first, the 
Peneius, which drains the plain of Thessaly, 
and, carrying a considerable volume of water, 
makes its way between Ossa and Olympus 
into the iBgean sea. Next may be mentioned 
the AcHELOOS, which, taking its rise on the 
slopes of Pindus, divides jEtolia from Acar- 
nania and falls into the sea of Ionia. The 
third is the Euenuus, also a stream from the 
side of Pindus, making its way into the same 
sea at a more easterly point of the coast. In 
Boeotia the two rivers are the Cephisus and 
the Asopus, neither of much importance, 

scarcely maintaining a flow of water during 
the summer. Through the state of Elis flows 
the Alpheius, which also drains Arcadia, being 
of a more respectable volume. In Messenia 
the principal stream is the Pamisus, which, 
though small, is perennial. Near Argos flows 
the Inachus, and Attica is watered by the 
Cephisxjs and the lussus, both scant in waters 
and by no means justifying the descriptions 
and poetical enthusiasm of the ancients. 

Of these rivers the only one that carries 
down to its mouth a noticeable quantity of fer- 
tilizing material b the Acheloiis, which in high 
water lays a fair deposit on the valley-lands 
near the Ionian sea. A great majority of the 
streams which the Attic patriots honored with 
the name of "rivers" are little more than 
brooks, dry to the bottom during the hot 
months of summer. 

Lakes, also, are a necessity of the con« 
formation of the country. In many localities 
are natural basins compassed with hills, and 
in such situations, unless nature has provided 
a subterranean outlet, the waters gather, 
forming a marsh or lake. Of these there are 
two in Thessaly, the Nessonis and the Boebei's, 
both of considerable size. In the region 
between the rivers Acheloiis and Euenus 
lies Lake Trichonis, which appears to have 
been a more extensive body of water in an- 
cient than in modem times. In Boeotia the 
river Cephisus forms, in one part of its course, 
an extensive marsh called Copais, and lakes 
Hylike and Harma are also found in the 
same state. The Copais is drained by a 
famous natural subterraneous channel known 
as the Katabothra, through which the over- 
plus of waters found a way to the other side 
of the hills. Many other examples are found 
in different parts of Greece, especially in Pel- 
oponnesus, of a like contrivance of nature 
for the escape of confined bodies of water. 
The calcareous limestone of which the hills 
are mostly composed was specially favorable 
to the formation of such passages. 

For the coast-line of Greece the geography 
of the world can scarcely present a parallel. 
Around the whole extent of the peninsula 
there seems to have been a war between sea 
aud land as to which should more impenetralt 



ilie other. All the way around, from the 
Thermaic Gulf to the borders of Epirus, is 
an almost continued succession of peninsulas 
and bays. Sometimes, as in the case of the 
great island Euboea, the sea is completely vic- 
torious, and a portion of the shore is cut off 
by straits and channels. Again, as on the 
west of Peloponnesus, the land for a distance 
presents a tolerably regular outline of coast 
Notably, however, near the middle^— in the 
waist, as it were, of her body — is Greece 
almost divided. Here, on the east the Sa- 
ronic Gulf running up under Attica, and on 
the west the Gulf of Corinth, press inland to- 
wards each other until only a narrow barrier 
of rocky isthmus remains between. So nearly 
does Peloponnesus come to being an island. 
Thus by a long and infinitely varied coast- 
line was laid in nature the antecedent of the 
maritime supremacy of the Greeks. 

The general division into a Northern, a 
Central, and a Southern Greece is most 
obviously marked in the geographical features 
of the peninsula. The part of the country 
which lies between the Corinthian Gulf and 
the Oljrmpian mountains is subdivided into 
two parts by the approximation of the Am- 
bracian and Maliac gulfs. A line drawn 
from the one to the other constitutes the 
lower, as the fortieth parallel constitutes the 
upper, boundary of Northern Greece. From 
the line of the two gulfs to the Isthmus of 
Corinth is Central Greece; while Southern 
Greece is obviously conterminous with the 

It will be seen at a glance that the north- 
em division of the country, as here defined, 
includes Thessaly and Epirus, but excludes 
Macedonia. The latter is a country of high- 
lands, entirely difierent in characteristics from 
the regions lying jtx) the south. It consists in 
large part of circular valleys hemmed in by 
ranges of hiUs, with few slopes towards the 
sea; while, on the other hand, Greece Proper, 
though mountainous to the extent of secluding 
in a great measure tha districts from each 
other, tends in nearly all parts to the shore. 

It will readily be inferred, from the geo- 
graphical conditions here presented, that the 

climate of Greece is exceedingly varied. 
N.— Vol. 1—28 

Such is true to an astonishing degree. Be^ 
ginning at the north, next the range of 
Olympus, and proceeding to the south, first 
into the valleys of Central Greece and thence 
into Peloponnesus, there is presented to the 
traveler almost every variety of atmospherie 
condition. The general aspect of nature 
changes like the scenes of a panorama, until 
almost every disposition and hue of her 
wealth, and even of her caprice, has beea 

Passing from Northern to Central Greece, 
a new order of structure b observed. The 
landscape becomes more complex. The moun- 
tains in many parts fall into hilly ranges. 
The country is described by Curtius as ''se 
manifoldly broken up that it becomes a suc- 
cession of peninsulas connected with one an- 
other by isthmuses. ** In the western part, 
Mount Tymphrestus rises to a height of more 
than seven thousand feet, and the range of 
Parnassus reaches a still greater elevation ia 
the eastern portion of the peninsula. 

In Peloponnesus still greater changes are 
observed. Here, around a kind of center in 
the state of Arcadia, arise high bulwarks with 
spurs projecting from every slope into the 
surrounding dbtricts — ^Messenia, Laconia, Ar- 
golb. Some of the scenery b Alpine in its 
wildness. The eye b surprised in every part 
by striking landscapes, secluded spots of 
beauty, marvelous contrasts of hill and wood 
and valley. It b, however, in considering 
the political divisions of Greece, that the 
marked local peculiarities of the land may be 
best presented. 

Ancient Greece was divided into a multi- 
tude of states, the foundations of which were 
laid in nature. In other countries lines have 
been drawn, for mere convenience of govern* 
ment, between province and province. Ib 
Greece the lines were laid when the pe- 
ninsula was thrown into form. Beginning 
next the Olympian range we have in North- 
em Greece the two extensive states of Thbb- 
SALT and EnRus. They are, as already said, 
divided from each other by the range of Pin- 
dus. The former b the largest political divi- 
sion of all Greece. It lies from north te 
south between the Cambunian mountains and 



ThennopylsB, and stretches east and west from 
the Pindus slope to the ^gean. The greater 
part of the country is a plain, which, at its 
north-easternmost extremity, is broken by the 
Vale of Tempe, celebrated from remote an- 
tiquity as one of the most lovely spots of 
«arth, a sylvan solitude, a chosen haunt of 
Apollo. The Thessalian plain was the largest 
productive district in Greece, and was greatly 
prized for its agricultural resources. It was 
thought by the inhabitants to have been in 
former times the bed of a lake, having its 
outflow through the Peneus, whose sinking 
channel gradually drained it into the sea. 
Thessaly was subdivided into four provinces, 
known by the names of Thessalaotis, Hestise- 
otis, Pelasgiotis, and Phthiotis — a division 
retained until a late date in Grecian history. 

Epirus w<» ia geographica poddoo mZt 
remote, in extent second, and in character 
most barbarous of all the states of Greece. 
It was bounded on the east by Pindus, on the 
north by Illyria, on the west by the Ionian 
sea, and on the south by ^tolia, Arcamania, 
and the Ambracian Gulf. Its two rivers were 
the Acheron and the Cocytus. The country 
was rugged and less attractive than most of 
the other states, and was by the Greeks them- 
selves regarded as a kind of foreign region 
inhabited by people of another race. The 
things for which Epirus was most noted was 
Dodona with her oaks and the ancient oracle 
of Jupiter; Canope and Buthrotum, with 
their harbors ; Ambraeia, the capital of King 
Pyrrhus; and Nicopolis, built by Augustus 
Caesar, in commemoration of his victory at 
Actium. The Epirotes had some share in the 
stirring history of Greece, but are generally 
disparaged by the Greek historians. 

Passing into Central Greece, we find in 
the eastern half the states of Doris, Phocis, 
Locris, Malis, Boeotia, Attica, and Megaris; 
and in the western half Acamania, ^tolia, 
and Ozolian Locris. Doris was in the heart 
•f the country, and was the smallest state of 
all Greece. It was bounded on the east by 
Phocis, on the south by Ozolian Locris, on 
the west by ^tolia, and on the north by Ma- 
lis. To the westward rose Mount (Eta. The 
whole district was mountainous, and it was 

not in nature that it should contain a great 
civilization. Nevertheless, the part which the 
Dorians played in Grecian history was suffi- 
ciently conspicuous to make their country an 
object of interest 

The state of Phocis was bounded on the 
north by Locris, on the east by Boeotia, on 
the south by the Corinthian Gulf, and on the 
west by Ozolian Locris. At one point it 
reached the brine, in the channel of Euboea, 
and possessed the harbor of Daphnus. The 
surface of the country is exceedingly mount- 
ainous, being traversed by the range of Par- 
nassus. South of this chain are several fertile 
dbtricts, the most extensive being the plain 
of Crisssea. The principal river is the Ce- 
phissus, which in a considerable part of its 
course forms an exuberant valley. The most 
striking of the local interests which, during 
the Grecian ascendency, and indeed ever since, 
have attracted the attention of mankind, were 
the city and oracle of Delphi, the latter being 
the most famous seat of alleged inspiration in 
the world. 

Locris, in the most ancient times, extended 
across the entire peninsula from the Corin- 
thian gulf to the strait of Euboea. By the en- 
croachments of the Phocians and the Dorians, 
however, the state was cut in two, the central 
part being appropriated by the conquerors. 
The Locrians were thus confined to two nar- 
row districts, both maritime; the eastern or 
Locris Proper, lying upon the strait, and the 
western or Ozolian Locris, being on the gulf 
of Corinth. Th^ former extended along the 
coast from the P^ss of Thermopylae to the 
mouth of the Cephissus, and had the same gen« 
eral character as Phocis, which bounded it on 
the south. The Ozolian Locris, bordering the 
gulf, was a rugged and somewhat barren coun- 
try, one of the poorest in Central Greece. 
The name Ozolse, or Stinkards, was given to 
the people from the fetid odors of the sul- 
phur springs which abounded in several parts. 
The principal towns were Naupactus and 

The small state of Maub is sometimet 
omitted frcm the political geography of 
Greece, but should be included. It lay im« 
mediately north of Doris, and at the western 



extreme of the Malian gulf. The little dis- 
trict so named produced no important effect 
upon the course of Grecian history, nor were 
there either Malian cities or citizens of such 
note as to attract the applause of their bois- 
terous countrymen. 

Not so, however, of the state of Bceotia. 
Bounded on one side by the channel of £u- 
booa and on the other by the Corinthian gulf, 
lying between Attica at the extreme of the 
peninsula and Phocis on the north-west, this 
country held a position in every way favor- 
able for a large influence in the aflairs of 
Oreece. Geographically, Boeotia is a sort of 
basin, surrounded by the ranges of Cithsron 
and Fames on the south. Helicon on the 
west, Parnassus on the north-west, and the 
Opuntian chain on the east. Within this 
basin lies Lake Copais, forty-seven miles in 
circumference, formed, as hitherto said, by 
the overflowing of the river Cephissus ; also 
the plain of Thebes, and the valley of Asopus. 

Of all the Grecian commonwealths the 
most important was Attica. The name means 
the Shore or Coast. The land so called was 
the extremity or foot of the long peninsula 
which constitutes the eastern part of Central 
Greece. In shape it is a triangle, bounded 
on the north-west by Boeotia, on the east by 
the JBgean, on the south-west by the Saronic 
gulf and Megaris. The area of the country 
is eight hundred and forty square miles, and 
yet in this small district were exhibited the 
most marvelous energies ever displayed by the 
human mind. In Attica several mountain 
ranges sink down to the coast. Several 
plains, as the Eleusinian, the Athenian, the 
Hesogsean, and the Paralian, intervene be- 
tween the hill-ranges or along the shore. The 
first named contained the sacred city of 
Eleusis. The second was watered by the two 
principal rivers of Attica, the Cephissus and 
the Bissus, both insignificant streams, sinking 
into dry beds in summer. Attica was the 
native seat of the Ionic race, and at a very 
early date attained a precedence among the 
Hellenic commonwealths, which she held alike 
by prowess in battle and the acuteness of her 

From the instep of the Attican peninsula 

and extending across through a narrowing 
isthmus into Peloponnesus, was the little state 
of Meqaris. The boundaries on the north 
were Attica and Boeotia; on the south, the 
sea; on the west, the Corinthian gulf The 
whole area is but one hundred and forty-three 
square miles. The surface is rugged and 
hilly. The principal mountain is Citheeron, 
which rises on the border of Boeotia. Across 
the southern part of Megaris from sea to sea 
extends the Geranean chain, through which 
three passes afford land routes from Central 
Greece into Peloponnesus. The first is the 
Scironian pass close to the Saronic gulf, which 
is the direct road from Corinth to Athens. 
The second is near the Corinthian gulf, and 
leads from Peloponnesus into Boeotia. The 
third was about the center of the range, and 
as a thoroughfare had a less importance than 
the other two, which at their nor^em ter- 
mini reached into the open country. Megaris 
contained but one small plain, and in that 
was situated the metropolis of the state. In 
the earliest tim^ this district was considered 
a part of Attica, being then inhabited by 
.£olians and lonians. 

Passing into the western half of Central 
Greece, we come to ^tolia, situated on the 
north shore of the gulf of Corinth. It was 
bounded on the east by Doris and Locris, and 
on the west by Acamania. At its southern 
extremity it is divided by a narrow strait 
from Peloponnesus. On the north lay the 
district inhabited by the Dolopes. The prin- 
cipal river was a small stream called the 
Evenus, now the Fidhari. jEtolia was a 
rough region, larger than most of the states 
of Greece, but so little civilized as compared 
with those on the eastern shore as to perform 
but a minor part in Grecian history. Not 
until the times of Alexander did the ^tolians 
begin to display the energy of character for 
which their countrymen were so greatly dis* 
tinguished afterwards. 

The remaining Greek state north of the 
Corinthian gulf was Acarnania. On the east 
lay ^tolia, on the north the Ambracian gulf, 
on the west and south the Ionian sea. Like 
most of the other districts, the surface is 
mountainous, but presents considerable variety 



•f lake and valley and pasture. In character 
both the country and its inhabitants resem- 
bled Epirus with her half-savage tribes of 
8emi-Gh*ecians. The Acamaniaiis were for the 
most part a race of shepherds, who at times 
abandoned their pastures for the chase and 
war. At no time in their history — their 
peninsular position with the presence of good 
harbors seemed to suggest maritime enter- 
prise — did they engage to any considerable 
extent in commercial pursuits. Like the 
Epirotes, they were somewhat contemptuously 
regarded by the more civilized states of the 
eastern coast, and were not much consulted in 
the great transactions of Grecian history. 

Peloponnesus — meaning "the Island of 
King Pelops," by whom, according to tradi- 
tion, the country was colonized — has an area 
of a little mor) than eight thousand square 
miles. It has the general shape of a maple 
leaf, the stem resting at JEgium, on the Gulf 
of Corinth. The country was divided politi- 
cally into eleven states: Corinth, Sicyonia, 
Achaia, Elis, Arcadia, Messenia, Laconia, 
Argolis, Epidauria, Troezenia, and Hermionis. 

The first two, Corinth and Sicyonia, were 
small districts on the east and west sides of 
the isthmus. They were so named from their 
principal cities, and embraced merely the 
surrounding plains and hills to the extent of 
a few hundred square miles of territory. In 
later times they were both regarded as in- 
cluded in the large state of Argous. Epi- 
dauria, likewise, lying on the Saronic Gulf, 
was but the small district surrounding the 
city of Epidaurus, near the coast. This, too, 
was embraced in the territory of the Argives. 
The lower extreme of the same peninsula re- 
ceived the local name of Hermionis from the 
town of Hermioney which gave it its only im* 

The state of Achaia extended along the 
greater part of the northern coast of Pelo- 
ponnesus, resting for sixty-five miles on the 
Corinthian Gulf. It was that part of the 
maple leaf which supported the stem. It had 
the general character of the other districts 
already described, being hilly and rugged, 
with occasional pastures intervening. The 
most important town was Patrse, which, under 

the name of Patras, is still known in Grecian 
geography. The country was first settled by 
the lonians, but these were dispossessed by 
the Achseans, on the occasion of the Dorian 
conquest of Peloponnesus. 

Ens lay on the Ionian Sea, from the 
promontory of Araxus to the river Neda. 
Its greatest breadth was thirty-five miles, and 
its area about one thousand square miles. 
The mountains in this western part of South- 
em Greece fall away in slopes to the sea, and 
Elis presents, for a country so limited in ex- 
tent, a considerable amount of level land. 
The city of Elis occupied the largest plain, 
between the Alpheus and the Peneus rivers. 
The northneastem portion, however, was as 
mountainous as any other district in the 

Arcadia was the only state of Southern 
Greece which had no sea-coast. Next to 
Laconia, it was the largest division of Pel- 
oponnesus, having an area of one thousand 
seven hundred square miles. Of all Greece 
this was the most picturesque region, nor 
would it be easy to find its parallel in the 
world. It was a country of mountains and 
forests and meadow-lands, fountains and 
water-brooks, glens and grottoes. Here rise 
Mounts Cyllene, Lycseus, and Erymanthua 
Here the river Alpheus gathers its waters, 
and here Lake Stymphalis spreads its crystal 
sheet. Everywhere the eye b delighted with 
that endless vicissitude of beauty which never 
tires and never cloys. Without seaports, the 
country had no commercial enterprise. 

The ancient inhabitants were Pelasgians, a 
race of rough shepherds and hunters, who 
were with difficulty transformed into more 
civilized conditions. They were, nevertheless, 
a peaceable, quiet tribe, given to music and 
dancing. It thus happened that in all polite 
languages of modem times the term "Ar- 
cadian" has come to signify either beauty of 
natural scenery or rusticity of manners. In 
the epoch of Greek heroism the inhabitants 
of this state became a brave and martial 
people, but none of their captains achieved in 
the field a great military fame. The four 
principal cities of Arcadia were Mantinea, 
Tegea, Archomenus, and Megalopolis, the 



latter being built as a defense against the 
Spartans. The first three never rose to great 
importance, chiefly because of intestine dis- 
putes and quarrels, which, frequently amount- 
ing to violence, destroyed their prosperity. 

To the south-west of Arcadia, washed on 
two sides by the sea, lay Messenia. Here, 
tooy is a region of mountains. Only two 
plains of any importance are embraced within 
the territory. Of these the southern was 
called Macaria, meaning the Blessed, so named 
from its exuberance and beauty. Some of 
(he valleys fnrther inland are also exceed- 
ingly fertile, and the climate, being one of the 
inildest in the world, would have made life in 
this region present a benign aspect, but for 
the native boorishness of the original popula- 
tion and the oppressions of the Spartans. 

Among the Messenian cities the principal 
were the seaport town of Pylos, Cyparissia, 
Corone, Methone, Abia, Der», Stenyclarus, 
and Messene, the capitaL Besides these 
towns there were two important mountain 
fortresses, Ithome and Ira, the former being 
regarded as the stronghold of the nation. In 
the revolutions of the country the population 
of Messenia was twice transformed, first from 
Argives to .£olians, and then from .£olians 
, to Dorians, who came in with the ascendency 
of their race in Peloponnesus. Messenia was 
in the course of her history the scene of 
some most heroic struggles, in which her own 
people and the Spartans were the principal 

Laconia was the south-easternmost division 
of the ancient Peloponnesus. It was the 
largest state of Southern Greece, and, histor- 
ically considered, by far the most important. 
It was bounded on the north by Arcadia and 
Argolis, on the east and south by the sea, on 
the west by the gulf and state of Messenia. 
At the lower extremity the country divides 
into two branching peniusalas, including be- 
tween them the Gulf of Laconia, and te^-rai- 
nating in the two capes of Tsenarum and 
Malea, the most southern points of land in 
Europe. Within the limits of Arcadia the 
most important region is a long valley in- 
closed on three sides by mountain ranges 
and open on the south to the sea. There is 

thus prepared and fortified by nature that 
wonderful district in which Sparta had her 
native lair. Across the north of this valley 
stretch the Arcadian mountains, from which 
two ranges branching southward defend the 
two sides of the Spartan glen from almost 
every possibility of assault. These two lateral 
chains are known as Taygetus and Pamon» 
the former rising to the height of seven t&oih 
sand nine hundred feet, and the latter to an 
elevation of six thousand three hundred and 
fifty feet. On the slopes of these mountains 
are forests of pine, evergreen, abounding in 
game, haunts of the huntress Diana. The 
valley is drained by the river Eurotas, fiEunoui 
in song and story. Into thio^sli-eam smaller 
brooks, flowing down from the slopes of Tay- 
getus and Pamon, pour their waters, forming 
an ever-increasing volume to the sea. On the 
banks of thb river stood the invincible capi- 
tal, known by its two names of Lacedjemov 
and Sparta — a town which has given to the 
valor of the world an imperishable epithet. 
A few others of smaller note were Amyclse in 
the plain south of Sparta, the old residence 
of the Achsean kings ; Helos, from which rose 
the Helots, situated on the gulf of Laconia ; 
and Gythium, a naval station on the same 
coast. In the valley of the Eurotas there were 
considerable tracts of land susceptible of cul- 
tivation, but the soil was not sufiSciently 
fertile to encourage husbandry. 

The remaining state of Southern Greece 
was Aroolis, lying between the Argolic and 
Saronic gulfs. On the west it was bounded 
by Achaia and Arcadia; on the south the 
land limit was Laconia. With the exception 
of the fertile plain of Argos the whole coun- 
try is mountainous, some of the summits ris- 
ing to the height of more than five thousand 
feet. Two small rivers, the Planitza and the 
Erasinus, are the only perennial streams. 
The coast is indented with many bays, ren- 
dering Argolis especially favorable to naviga- 
tion and commerce. The state is one of the 
nost ancient in the whole peninsula. In the 
'arliest epochs of history the term Ai^ve 
vas often used synonymously with Greek, such 
usage extending even into the poems of Ver- 
gil. Argolis was divided into six petty king- 



dom8, Argoe, Mycense, Tirjus, Troazenia, Her- 
mionis, and Epidaurus. By and by Argos 
became the leader, and absorbed all the rest. 
The names of these petty principalities, or 
rather of the cities which constituted their 
nuclei, will readily be recognized as those of 
the famous sites from which in our own day the 
antiquarian Schliemann has exhumed such 
priceless treasures illustrative of the history 
of the ancient Greeks. Argolis contains the 
larger portion of those marvelous ruins to 
which archfiBologists have given the name Cy- 
clopean — a mass of huge walls of unhewn 
stone, laid without cement, said in legend to 
have been the work of the gigantic Cyclops, 
sons of Heaven and Earth. 

Such, •then, is a general sketch of the 
geography, physical and political, of ancient 
Greece. It will readily be seen that the 
country was formed for a multitude of segre- 
gated communities. In no other region of 
the world are the natural indications so 
deeply laid for petty states. The hills and 
mountains are just of such height and charac- 
ter as to break up all attempts at political 
centralization. Such a thing as unity was 
impossible in a race so situated. In many 
parts the people on opposite sides of a range 
were strangers for generations together. Lo- 
cal patriotism kindled a torch in every valley, 
and around its flame of light and heat were 
gathered the -affections of a clan. Beyond 
the hill-tops there was nothing but distrust, 
aversion, hatred. It thus came to pass that 
the Greek communities were individualized 
to an extent unknown, perhaps impossible, 
among the great nations of the plain. In 
such a situation faction would prevail, poli- 
tics become a profession, freedom the rule. 
The presence of a centralized despotism in 
ancient Greece would have been as much of 

an anomaly as a modem monarchy established 
among the solitude and snow-capped summiti 
of the Swiss Alps. 

It is not the place in this connection to do 
more than merely note the fact that in the 
broken and multiplex aspect and physical 
conditions of Greece were also laid the foun- 
dations of the wonderfully inflected mythology 
and matchless art of the race. The human 
mind here found itself under circumstances 
of such infinite variety that the interpreta- 
tion and representation of nature flashed into 
forms as variable as the caprices of the kaleid- 
oscope. Further on, considering the philos- 
ophy, mythology, and art of the Greeks, 
there will be necessarily a more amplified 
statement of these views. For the present it 
may suflice to add that in ancient Greece the 
conditions of beauty, whether in sky, or earth, 
or sea, were more abundant and intense than 
in any other country. The faculties and per- 
ceptions of the people were thus stimulated 
into a class of activities — the history, the 
poem, the oration, the subtle analysis of 
thought — in excess of what has been else- 
where accomplished even to the present time. 

The traveler, the poet of to-day catches at 
once the indefinable charm which the bounty 
of nature has never withdrawn from the re- 
gion between Olympus and the sea. Even 
the morose Childe Harold feels the warmth 
of a new inspiration under the cloudless 
heaven of Greece : 

Yet are thy skiee as blue, thy crags as wild ; 

Sweet are thy groves and verdant are thy flelda, 
Thine olive ripe as when Minerva smiled, 

And still his honeyed wealtli Hymettos yields; 

There the blithe bee his fragrant fortress builds, 
The freebom wanderer of thy mountain air ; 

Apollo still thy long, long summer gilds, 
Still in his beam Mendeli's marbles glare ; 
Art, glory, freedom fail, but Nature still is fdr. 



|S already said in the pre- 
ceding chapter, the peo- 
ple known as Greeks 
were by themselves called 
Hellenes — the descend- 
ants of Hellen, their 
ancestor. Though a prim- 
itive people, they were by no means as remote 
in their origin and development as were many 
nations of the East Indeed, it is safe to say 
that the Hellenes were among the younger 
races who contributed to form the population 
of Old Europe, and that, as compared in age 
with the peoples of the Nile and Euphrates 
valleys, they were as of yesterday in their 
origin and development. 

When the Phoenicians, themselves of Se- 
mitic descent, had peopled the eastern shore 
of the Mediterranean and begun their mari- 
time discoveries, they came first of all upon 
Cyprus, and then by easy stages among the 
Cyclades. From one of these islands to the 
next was but a step until the south-eastern 
promontories of the main-land of Hellas were 
reached. In all the little isles anchored in 
these beautiful waters a people were found, 
numerous, active, well-formed, light-complex- 
ioned, quick to appreciate the advantages of 
commerce. Thus was opened up an acquaint- 
ance between the great maritime nation of 
the eastern Mediterranean and the Greek 
populations of the ^gean islands and the 
main peninsula of Hellas. In the further ex- 
tension of their commerce it was found by 
the Phoenicians that a people of the same 
race occupied the shores of Asia Minor. 
These were the Ionians, who, like the Phoeni- 
cians, were expert . sailors, devoted to com- 
merce and adventure. 

These Ionian or Asiatic Hellenes were the 
oldest of the Greek populations. By them it 
was that bands of their countrymen, carried 
to the west, came upon the islands of the Cy- 
clades and finally into Hellas, finding there 
others of their race already established. Thus 

it was that the lonians became competitors of 
the Phoenicians in a half-friendly contest for a 
predominant influence in the islands of the 
^gean and even in Greece Proper. 

If we consult the Greeks themselves with 
regard to their origin, we receive ambiguous 
answers. In the first place they held stren- 
uously to the tradition that they were ou- 
iochthaneSf that is, born of the earth. Ther« 
was no myth of a settlement by immigrant 
tribes from abroad. Their ancestors had 
always abode in Hellas fix>m the time when 
Earth ^ve them birth. On the other hand, 
there were traditions in almost every state of 
Greece that the beginnings of arts and insti- 
tutions had been brought in by illustrious 
foreigners, whose supernatural wisdom fur- 
nished a basis of social life. All of these wise 
strangers came from over sea, bringing from 
distant shores the dawn of civilization. Such 
legends are substantiated, moreover, by the 
Greek theology ; for all of the gods of Hellas 
were the deities of foreign lands disguised in 
the fine drapery of Greek thought.' Nor is 
it conceivable that a foreign pantheon should 
thus have been established but by migrating 
tribes who brought with them their gods from 
distant homes. 

The science of language has within the 
present century clearly determined the race- 
position of the Greeks. They belonged to the 
Aryan or Indo-European family of men, being 
thus allied with the Hindus, Modes, and Per- 
sians of Asia, and the Latin, Celtic, and Teu- 
tonic races in Europe. As already said, the 
tribal home of this wide-branching tree of 
human life appears to have been in the coun- 
try of Bactria; but at what particular point 
in the tribal migrations the Hellenic stock 

* The historian Curtius makes an exception of 
Zeus, whom he regards as native to the Greek 
imagination ; but recent investigations in philology 
have established beyond doubt the identity of 
Zeus Pater with the Dyaus Pitar of the Vedie 



t«ok its rise, it b perhaps impossible to deter- 
mine. Be that as it may, the first formal de- 
Tolopments of the Oreek race into organized 
eommunities took place on the coasts of Asia 
Minor, looking out towards the iBgean. The 
people thus established flowed from the same 
source as did others who occupied the Spo- 
rades, and the Cyclades, and finally the whole 
of peninsular Hellas. All that may be cer- 
tainly affirmed is that, regarding as Greek the 
whole community around the iBgean Sea, the 
eastern portions were settled first, the wave of 
population swelling westward into Hellas 
Proper and onward to the shores of the 
Ionian Sea. 

Leaving, then, the matter of the prehis- 
toric migrations as undetermined, and taking 
up the traditions of the Greeks regarding 
their ancestry, we have the well-known legend 
of their father Hellen. He was the reputed 
son of Deucalion and Pyrrha. From him 
came all the Hellenes. He had three sons, 
DoRUS, XuTHUS, and .ffioLUS, of whom the 
first and the last gave their names to their de- 
scendants, the Dorians and jEolians. Xuthus, 
like Joseph among the Israelites, founded no 
tribe himself, but his two sons. Ion and 
AcHiEUS, became the head of the lonians and 
the Achseans. Thus by tradition we have an 
account rendered of the four leading divisions 
of the Greek race. Nor was there ever any 
doubt among the Hellenes themselves of the 
accuracy of this matter-of-fact genealogy, 
whicn they received from their fathers. But 
the device of primitive nations in coining 
personal names as the explanation of the be- 
ginnings of their nationality is now well un- 
derstood, and the easy-going story of Hellen 
and his sons signifies no more than that the 
Hellenes first awoke to tribal consciousness at 
the foot of Mount Othrys, where Hellen was 
■aid to have had his home ; and the migration 
of his sons from the borders of Thessaly sim- 
ply implies an attempt of some vigorous 
imagination to account for the presence in 
difierent parts of Greece of the Dorians, 
.£olians, lonians, and Achseans. 

The tradition goes on to elaborate. .£olus 
succeeded his father in Thessaly. But his 
multiplied descendants spread southward as 

far as the Isthmus of Corinth. Afterwards 
they peopled the islands of Lesbos and Tene- 
dos, and founded on the coast of Asia Minor 
a group of cities known as the .£olian Con- 
federacy. Of their dialect Greek literature 
has preserved but a few fragments, and these 
indicate an affinity with Doric rather than 
Attic Greek. 

The race of Dorus appeared first in 
Macedonia, then made migrations, spread as 
far as the island of Crete, where they founded 
Tetrapolis, and then into Peloponnesus, where 
they became predominant in the three states 
of Argolis, Laconia, and Messenia, In man- 
ners and life the Dorians were sedate, digni- 
fied, and grave as compared with the other 
peoples of Greece, often displaying both in 
their deeds and institutions a severity in 
marked contrast with the milder habits of the 
lonians. They spoke a less refined dialect, 
characterized by broad vowels and rough com- 
binations of consonant sounds, and were a 
people of rude address, little given to speech. 

The lonians were the maritime branch of 
the Hellenic race. They had their original 
seats on the coast of Asia Minor, and from 
thence spread into the western islands. They 
were predominant throughout the ^gean, 
and were, as indicated alike by tradition and 
language, the oldest of the Greek tribes. 
The name of their reputed ancestor, Ion, 
seems to be associated with the Hebrew Javan, 
the Persian Yauna, the Egyptian Uinim, and 
the Indian Yonas — all names of mythical an- 
cestors. It was these Ionian Greeks who at 
a very early date became first the rivals and 
then the superiors of the Phoenicians in the 
commerce of the -ffigean and eastern Medi- 
terranean. It was they who spread all around 
the shores of those waters, establishing colo- 
nies and trading posts at suitable stations, or 
sometimes in the heart of great cities, as in 
Alexandria and Memphis. It was they who 
constituted the body of that Greek population 
in the towns of Asia Minor, to whom refer- 
ence has many times been made in the His- 
tory of the Persian Empire.- 

The AcHiEANS had their native seat in 
Thessaly. Of all the Greek stocks they were 
the rudest. They were among the oldest of 



the tribes and took so prominent a part in the 
Trojan war as to give their name, even in 
Homer, to the whole body of the Hellenes. 
It is evident that duriug the Heroic Period 
they were the dominant race in Greece, and 
contributed greatly to the warlike fame which 
for hundreds of years made Greek and victor 

Although the Greeks regarded themselves 
as autochthones, or indigenous to Hellas, yet 
they conceded to another people priority of 
occupation, at least in certain parts of the 
country. These were the Pelasoians, of 
whose original seats history is still in doubt. 
It is certain, however, that in Attica, Argolis, 
Arcadia, Epirus, and several other parts of 
Greece, this people was established and civilized 
before the Hellenes took possession. It is said 
that the primitive name of the whole country 
was Pelasgia, and it is known that this race were 
distributed as far west as Italy, forming, in a 
sense, the bottom population of that country 
as well as of Greece. Nor do the Pelasgians 
appear to have been a people very dissimilar 
to the Greeks who displaced them. Their 
religion was similar to that of the Hellenes. 
Their chief god was Jove, to whom in Dodona 
the famous shrine was erected, which retained 
its reputation during the whole period of the 
Grecian ascendency. To what extent this 
people was driven out or extinguished, and to 
what extent incorporated with the conquering 
Hellenes, it is impossible to tell ; but it is not 
unlikely that a large per cent of the primitive 
inhabitants were allowed to remain in a sub- 
ject condition, and were gradually absorbed 
by the dominant Greeks. 

Much space might be devoted to the per- 
sonal character of the Hellenes. Their quali- 
ties of body and mind were such as to fix 
upon them the attention of their own and 
after times. In stature they were rather be- 
low than above the average of ancient peoples. 
They had not the height of the barbarians or 
the muscular development of the Assyrians 
and Romans. It was rather in symmetrical 
activity than in massiveness or gigantic pro- 
portions that they surpassed the other races 
of their times. In beauty of body they were 
peerless. In agility 9.nd nervous vigor they 

were the finest specimens of men that the 
world has produced. Not that hardiness and 
endurance were wanting. Not that the bodily 
life of the Greek was tender and unable to 
endure. Not that he was more susceptible 
to hardships and exposure, less able to en- 
dure fatigue and combat exhaustion: for his 
body was capable of a discipline and conse- 
quent endurance rarely equaled, never sur- 
passed, in the ancient world. But he was 
more alive in his physical being, more highly 
developed, more complete in his nervous 
structure, than any other man of antiquity. 

It was, moreover, in this high-wrought, per- 
fectly finished physical manhood of the Greek 
that were laid the foundations of his wonderful 
mind, of his energy of thought, his reason, 
his imagination, his courage. Not only in 
the order of the world is the physical man 
planted in nature, not only is he, so to speak, 
an indigenous shoot of his native soil, draw- 
ing his saps and juices from that fecundity 
which is prepared by sun and air and rain, 
but the roots of the mental man are in lik^ 
manner planted in his physical nature, draw- 
ing therefrom the sustenance of thought, the 
elemeots of combination, the juices of reason 
and imagination, the sap of hope or despair. 
In his perfect body the Greek had the founda- 
tion of his strength. Nature here, under the 
free law of natural selection, wrought out a 
finer organism than in other regions where 
her resources were fewer, her energies tram- 
meled with restrictions. In Greece she ac- 
complished the finest Motherhood of Man ever 
presented. In the Greek, with his fair com- 
plexion, blue eyes, beautiful body, and radi- 
ant face, she held aloft the best gift of her 
abundant love. 

No other people, indeed, were ever gifted 
with so great personal beauty as the Hellenes, 
and no others ever so much adored the gift. 
At festivals and in public processions the 
fairest was the first. Prizes were given to the 
handsomest man, the most beautiful woman. 
In the Greek town of Segesta, in Sicily, a 
temple was built and sacrifices offered to her 
who was adjudged most beautiful. The hom- 
age thus paid to personal comeliness was 
sincere and universal. 



The climate of Oreece, free from extremes 
of heat and cold, cooperated with the habits 
of the people to produce perfect symmetry of 
form and feature. Solon, speaking with pride 
of the youth of his country, says: "They 
have a manly look, are full of spirit, fire, and 
vigor; neither dry and withered, nor heavy 
and unwieldy, but of a form at once graceful 
and strong. They have worked and sweated 
off all superfluous flesh, and only retained 
what is pure, firm, and healthy. This perfec- 
tion they could not attain without those 
physical exercises and the regimen that ac- 
companies them.** 

The men of Greece, though not above the 
medium height, were graceful and vigorous. 
Their chests were arched, their limbs straight, 
their carriage erect and indicative of great 
agility. The complexion was fair, but not 
white ; for the Eastern origin of the race, com- 
bining in influence with the constant outdoor 
exercise and the free exposure of their bodies 
to the air and sun gave a tinge of bronze to 
the person which was admired rather than 
avoided. The neck was round and beauti- 
fully molded, and on this was set a head 
which for symmetry and proportion has never 
been equaled. The nose descended in a 
straight line with the forehead, and the lips 
were full of expression. The chin was strong 
and round, but not unduly prominent. The 
whole form and features glowed with an in- 
tellectual and spiritual life — an ideal expres- 
siveness which shone upon the beholder • like 
the sunlight. 

The female face and figure were still more 
elevated and refined. Here nature surpassed 
all art and gave to the world an imperishable 
ideal. The hands and feet of Greek women 
were modeled to tte finest proportions of 
which conception or fancy are capable. The 
face was full of grace and modesty. The 
original type was a dark-blonde, the hair 
auburn, the eyes blue; and this type was 
maintained until intercourse with surrounding 
nations and the intermixture of foreigners 
from every city of the civilized world modi^ 
fied the features and complexion and brought 
into favor other styles of beauty. It was the 
Greek maiden and mother, with their native 

charms and graces^ that gave to the art of 
ancient Europe those classic modeb which 
have been, and are likely ever to remam, the 
inspiration and the despair of the chisels and 
brushes of the modem world. Not only the 
men and women of Athens thus surpassed in 
strength and loveliness of person, but the 
people of the other Greek states as well en- 
tered into the rivalry of beauty. The girls 
of Boeotia were as much praised for their 
comely grace' as wBre those of Attica; and 
for the women of Thebes artists and poets 
alike were wont to claim a superiority of love- 
liness over all the daughters of Hellen. Nor 
should failure be made to mention the maidens 
of Ionia, who, alike in the royal courts of the 
East and in the free vales of the West, were 
regarded as bearing from an easy contest the 
palm' of matchless beauty. 

In mental qualities the Hellenes were still 
more strongly discriminated fit)m the other 
peoples of antiquity. They had courage of 
the highest order. Nothing could daunt or 
dispirit the Greek. When aroused he went 
to war. Perhaps the cause was not worthy 
of the combat, but being ofiended, he fought. 
Arming himself with the best implements of 
war which an unscientific age could afford, he 
sought his enemy to slay or be slain. When 
a Greek fled the law of nature was suddenly 
reversed, and the clouds smiled at a caprice 
so exceptional as to be ridiculous I As a gen- 
eral rule his courage in battle was a thing so 
business-like and matter-of-course as to appear 
natural and inevitable. Before the career of 
his race was half run ^e enemy who stood 
before him in fight expected to be killed out 
of the nature of the thing. In the midst of 
the struggle his valor was first sublime and then 
savage ; rarely cruel. To be brave was to be 
Grecian, and not to fight when insulted or 
wronged, even in trifles, was so little Greek as 
to be regarded a stigma in any son of Hellen 
who thus shamed his race. 

In intellectual qualities, properly so-called, 
the Greek had an easy precedence of any and 
all competitors in the ancient world. If the 
word man be really derived from the Sanskrit 
root to ihinkf then indeed was the Greek the 
highest order of man. He could think, com- 



bine, reason. He could formulate and express 
his thoughts with a clearness and cogency 
never surpassed. He could excogitate, imag- 
ine. In an age when the coarser senses and 
more brutal instincts of human nature, were 
rampant and lay like an incubus on the spir- 
itual faculties of man, the Greek mind rose 
like a lily above the pond. It opened its 
waxen cup. It gathered the dews. It drank 
the sunlight by day and the starlight by night. 
It gave its fragrance first to its own place and 
then to all the world, and then bequeathed its 
imperishable beauties and perfume to the im- 
mortality of art 

Out of the mind of the Greek were pro- 
duced the loftiest concepts of philosophy. In 
a time of universal darkness there was light 
in Hellas. It is not intended in this connec- 
tion to sketch an outline of the work doue 
by the great thinkers of Athens. That will 
appear in another part From the streets of 
that city, from her walks, her groves, her 
Academy, a luminous effulgence has been 
shed into all the world. In the highest seats 
of modem learning the reasoning of Plato and 
the formulse of Aristotle still in some measure 
hold dominion over the acutest intellects of 
the world. Nor is it likely that the truth 
which they evolved from their capacious un- 
derstanding will ever be restated in a form 
more acceptable and attractive to the human 
mind than that to which themselves gave 
utterance. They are to-day in all the world, 

" The dead but sceptered sovereigns who still rule 
Our spirits from their urns.'' 

Besides the general intellectual superiority 
of the Greeks they possessed certain peculiar- 
ities of mind for which they were specially 
noted. They were witty. However wit may 
be defined, the Hellenes had it. They were 
able to discover far-fetched analogies. They 
could juxtaposit the heterogeneous and pro- 
duce an electrical shock by the touch of con- 
tradictories. They liked that flash of light 
which scorches its victim. The paradox was 
always a generous nut to the Greek who found 
it To him the bitterly ridiculous was better 
than a jewel of fine gold. An impossible ver- 
ity was his delight A pungent untruth made 
true or a luminous and startling lie was to 

him a joy forever. A joke, even at the ex- 
pense of the gods, was better than the richest 
banquet flowing with wine. 

Then came subtlety, leading to craft in 
action. All the fine lines of possibility in a 
fact and its relations were discovered by the 
Greek intellect as if by intuition. To per- 
ceive with delicacy the exact conditions of 
the thing considered — an impossible task to 
the sluggish perceptions of most of the peoples 
of antiquity — was to the Greek but a process 
of healthful exercise. He knew more than 
his enemy. He beat him and laughed at him. 
He was the most capable animal of all an- 
tiquity. He was Bejmard in the ancient 
Kingdom of the Beasts. He planned and 
contrived while others slept. His were the 
trick and the stratagem. He held up a false 
appearance, and smiled at hb'^oe for being 
fool enough to believe it real. He found 
more pleasure in setting a trap than in taking 
a city. He set a snare and stuck a spear- 
head through the loop. He made cunning a 
virtue, and recounted a successful wile with 
the same pride as if reciting the brave ex- 
ploits of heroes. To succeed by craft was 
nothing if it succeeded, and success without 
superior skill was more shameful than defeat 
The Greek met the enemy with ambiguous 
speech. He attacked him with a riddle. He 
swept the field with a device, and slew the 
flying foe because he did not understand! 
He entered the treaty-room with a dilemma, 
arranged the terms with a subterfuge, and 
went out with a mental reservation. 

In the midst of his keen wit, his happy 
perception of the ridiculous and his profound 
subtlety, the Greek retained in the highest 
degree a sense of the beautiful. He loved 
and appreciated the delicate outlines of form 
and color to the extent of adoration. In a 
beautiful land he awoke to consciousness. He 
saw around him a living landscape, and above 
him a cerulean sky. He held communion 
with all the nude simplicities of nature, and 
under her delightful inspiration felt the flutter 
of wings within him. He would imitate her 
loveliness. He saw in his musings and even 
in his slumbers the outlines of radiant forms. 
He caught at the vision. His thought became 



Apollo, and his dream was tranfiformed into 

From the concurrence of such faculties as 
those possessed by the Greeks, certain kinds 
of activity were inevitable. Native energy 
would lead to vigorous achievement. From 
the first the Hellenes were adventurous. They 
tempted both land and sea. The voyage from 
one Cyclade to another fed a hunger and nur- 
tured an ambition. The ocean was something 
to be overcome. Others, as well as they, de- 
sired possession. Hence war, struggle, vic- 
tory, peace, commerce, the city, the state. 
Here the Greek found food. He planted 
himself in his penmsula and islands. He made 
enterprise. He took advantage of the adven- 
ture of others. He made nature his confed- 
erate. He filled his sails with her winds. He 
went abroad and colonized. He sought the 
world's extreme. He established his dominion 
in another peninsula in the Western seas, and 
called it Great Greece, as distinguished from 
his own. He undertook the carrying-trade 
for the nations, and spoke hb musical accents 
in the marts of Babylon and Memphis and 
Carthage. He hired himself for gain to 
oriental despots whom he despised, and trans- 
ported their armies in his fleet. He became 
a cosmopolite, and learned among the swarm- 
ing millions of foreign lands the lesson of 
fearlessness. He believed — and not without 
good reason — that a Greek spear and a Greek 
stratagem were more than Egyptian cohorts, 
more than the hosts of Persia. He became 
self-confident in his activities, arrogant in suc- 
cess, reckless even when his capital was in 
ashes and his family in exile. He was daunt- 
less, imperturbable, courageous even to the 
doors of desperation and death. 

As to moral qualities, the Greeks were not 
80 greatly preeminent above the other peoples 
of antiquity. They had, like the Assyrians 
and the Romans, many of the robust virtues, 
but it can not be said that the moral percep- 
tions of the race were, in delicacy of discern- 
ment between right and wrong, equal to the 
keenness of their intellectual faculties. The 
morality of Greek social life was as high, per- 
haps higher than the age. Woman was still a 
slave, but her condition in Greece was erreatly 

preferable to that exhibited in any Eastern 
civilization. The conditions of her life were 
much improved by the influence of Greek in- 
stitutions, and Greek motherhood and sister- 
hood were esteemed at something like their 
true valuation. Nor was it possible in a 
country whei'e freedom was the rule that love 
should be absent or its fruit despised. The 
Hellenic family was maintained more by the 
action of natural laws than by the influence 
of the commonwealth, and the altar of domes- 
tic afi*ection received its gifts from the hand 
of preference rather than from the enforce- 
ment of duty. Still, tfab natural freedom was 
by no means destructive of sacred ties, and 
although it was productive of much social im- 
morality and abandonment, yet it gave birth 
to such an array of genius within given limits 
of population as can not be paralleled else* 
where in history. 

Turning to the domain of ethics proper, 
and considering what may in general terms 
be called the fountain of right, namely, adhe- 
rence to truth and principle, the Greeks were 
by no means above reproach. They had in* 
this regard fewer of the heroic virtues than 
did the Romans of the Republic. Witli the 
average Greek the rule was that the end jus- 
tified the means, and the majority adopted 
this rule without compunction. The natural 
disposition to adopt intrigue and deception 
as legitimate instnmients for the accomplish- 
ment of certain results encroached in practice 
upon the better principles of action, to the 
extent of making treachery in private life and 
perfidy in public affairs much too common for 
the honor and reputation of the race. While.- 
however, such was in general the ethical code 
of the Greeks there were among them not a 
few philosophers and teachers who alike in 
their instructions and examples were without 
doubt the best exponents of morality and per- 
sonal worth that the world has ever produced. 
The greatness of Socrates stands unchallenged. 
The beauty and sublimity of his teachings 
have never been assailed except by bigots. 
The luster of his bfe and the herobm of his 
death have east a mellow light through the 
centuries, and his steady belief in immortality 
has remained as the greatest protest of tbn 



pAgan world againet the DOtioD of the extinc- 
tion of the human soul. While it is true 
that the Athenians on an important state oc- 
casion gave OB a formal reason for the break- 
ing of a treaty the statement that it vxu no 
longer to lA^r advaniage to keep it, and while in 
multiplied instances the p^es of Grecian his- 
tory are stained with the record of deeds per- 
fidious, it is also true that the disks of Soc- 
rates and Plato shine above tlie fogs of this 
depravity with an immortal brightness. 

Mor should there be failure to mention the 
redemptive virtue of Greek patriotism. It 
may be true, as has been urged by some phi- 
lanthropists, that those local attachments of 
man to his own hill, his own province, his 
own country, whi^h in the aggregate pass by 
the name of patriotism, are In the nature of 
a vice which will be extinguished in the higher 
developments of civilization. But such a 
proportion can not be established out of the 
history of the past, nor is it likely to be es- 
tablished in the immediate iiiture. In gen- 
eral, the prt^resB of maukind, as well as the 
average happiness of the world, has been 
fostered and sustained by the devotion of 
patriotism; and even in the present condition 
of the world, patriotism remains a fact and 
interna tionality a dream. 

The Greeks were patriotic. Their land 
was of such a character as to nurture and 
stimulate local attachment. There seems to 
be more principle involved in fighting for a 
hill than for a brickyard. The human race 
fita to inequality of surface. It is difficult to 
be moved from such a situation. Beauty, 
sublimity, variety, every element which draws 
forUi from man an aifectionate regard for 
nature fired the Greek with enthusiasm for 
his country, his altars, his hearthstones, his 
gods. The masterful struggles at Marathon, 
Platiea, and Salamis are but the attestation 
of the vigor and invincible force of the pa- 
triotism of the Greeks. 

They loved liberty. Freedom had her 
birth among the hills of Greece. Here it was 
that political righte were first debated, and 
the duties of government limited by statute. 
There was something iu the Greek mind 
which could not tolerate the exactions of ar> 

bitrary authority. What they could not con- 
sent to they resisted. They quafied freedom 
as from a cup. Their patriotic impulses led 
to the acceptance of the doctrine that the man 
existed for the state ; but the spirit of liberty 
made it dangerous to be the state. Hellas 
was an arena. Contention, party strife, the 
conflict of opinion, the counter currents of 
interest, the inebriety of the demagogue, the 
factious outery, the excit«d assembly, the up- 
roar, the ostracism — all these were but the 
concomitants of that wonderful ablation in 
the painful throes of which were bom the 
liberties of the people. With the growth of 
the Grecian commonwealths popular cotasent 
became more and more the necessary ante- 
cedent of action. The 
voice of the new-bom 
fact called political 
freedom cried in the 
streets. There was a 
clamor, not wise but 
loud. It was as a 
sound in the tree- 
tops — the voice of 
democracy — a voice 
never to be stilled 
unto the shores of 
time and the ends of 
the earth. 

In thought and 
action the Greeks eocat™. Kipi.s*. 

were the best In- 
dividualized of all the peoples of antiq- 
uity. The nations of the East were masses. 
Egypt was a mass. Babylon was a mass. 
Assyria, Media, Persia, Lydia — what were 
they but vast aggregates of humanity undis- 
tinguishable in member or part? But the 
Greek was difierentiated. He passed out of 
the nebulous condition and became stellar. 
He counted one. Every other Greek counted 
one. The units stood apart. The nebube of 
antiquity broke into stars in the sky of Greece. 
A new force was felt henceforth among the 
nations of the earth. The lessons of individ- 
uality and freedom reflected from almost every 
page of Grecian literature were caught here 
and there by the brighter intellects of antiq- 
uity. The &r-reaching gleam shot its arrow 



o£ light even into the daxknese of the Middle 
Age, and the patriots of every civilized coun- 
try of the world Itave found their precedents 
among tha liberties of the Greeks. — How 

these qualities of body and mind and mora' 
nature in the Hellenic race will work in thr 
elaboration of a national career will be ezhib 
ited in the chapters to follow. 


T far the richest speech 
of Ancient Europe was 
the Greek; and among 
the languages of Asia it 
had DO rival except the 
Sanskrit. The genealogy 
of this famous tongue has 
already been referred to in the notice of the 
origin of the Hellenic race. Indeed, the 
tribe-origin of the Greeks could never have 
been known but for the science of language, 
which has become the torch-bearer of eth- 
nology in every quarter of the earth. The 
race-history of every people is recorded in its 
language, and if only that language has 
been crystallized into a national literature; 
there is little trouble in tracing out the 
prehistoric career of the people by whom it 
ia spoken. 

Greek, then, is one of that great group of 
languages known as Aryan or Indo-European. 
It has for its cognate tongues, Sanskrit and 
Persic in Asia, and Latin, Celtic, and Teu- 
tonic in Europe. It is now understood by 
scholars that in the migration of nations to 
the West the CelU, the Germans, and the 
Slaves preceded the other members of the 
European group. In a later movement came 
the two remaining branches of the family,the 
Greeks and the Romans. These were closely 
allied in ethnic and linguistic affinities. Any 
one at all familiar with the Latin and Greek 
tongues will recall their fundamental identity 
in both vocabulary and grammatical struc- 
ture. The two peoples by whom these lan- 
guages were spoken held ti^ether for a long 
time after their separation from a common 
parent stock, and only at a comparatively late 
period began to differentiate into peculiarities 
of race and speech. The one people settled 

around the shores of the JEgem, and the 
other iu the Italian peninsula. 

In the former situation, Greek was a 
spoken tongue as early as the fifteenth cen- 
tury before our era. At a later date the lan- 
guage spread with the adventures ^nd colo- 
nizations of the Hellenes, until their accents 
were heard from the coasts of Asia Minor to 
Sicily, and from Thrace to Gyrenaica. At a 
still later time it became the prevailing 
tongue in the Maciedonian, Syrian, Egyptian, 
and Byzantine empires. In modern times 
fragments of the language are spoken in 
parts of Southern Italy, and even in one of 
the cantons of Switzerland. In Greece, at 
the present time, an abridged and simplified 
form of Greek is the language of the people, 
and this Romaic tongue differs less from the 
language of Demosthenes than does the Eng- 
lish of today from the tongue of Chaucer. 

The history of the Greek language has 
been divided by scholars iuto three periods, 
the first of which embraces its literary devel- 
opment from the time of the composition of 
the Epic poems to the establishment of the 
common speech by the historians and philoso- 
phers of Athens. The second includes the 
period of diffusion, daring which, from its 
inherent excellence as a medium of communi- 
cation, Greek became first the language of 
scholars in all civilized countries, and was 
then contracted, by the gradual decline of 
the Roman power, to its original seats. The 
third division embraces the defeneration of 
classical Greek, and the ritie out of the same 
of the vulgar or common tongue spoken by 
the descendants of the Hellenes. 

The tribal divisions of the Greek race on 
its settlement in Hellas soon gave rise to 
dialectical differences in speech. It was not 



long before the Dorians employed one kind 
of vocalization and accent and the lonians 
another. Thus arose the three primitive forms 
of Greek, the Doric, the Ionic, and the 
.£olic. At first the Doric was most widely 
spoken, being the form of speech prevalent in 
Northern Greece, in Peloponnesus, in Crete, 
and in the colonies of the Dorians in South- 
em Italy and Sicily. The chief authors who 
have preserved this ancient dialect in their 
works are Pindar and Theocritus. 

The Ionic variety of Greek prevailed on 
the coast of Asia Minor, in most of the 
.£gean islands, in the peninsula of Attica, 
and in the foreign colonies established by the 
loniaos. It was developed at an early day as 
the language of poetry, and in this tongue 
were achieved the literary triumphs of the 
race. Ionic had itself a threefold develop- 
ment — the Old Ionic, the New Ionic, and the 
Attic. The first is the language of the epic 
poetry, and is rendered immortal in Homer 
and Hesiod. The New Ionic is the speech of 
Herodotus; while the Attic, being the lan- 
guage of Athens, contained the great body 
of Greek classical literature. It was the 
tongue of the scholars and philosophers — the 
chariot of fire in which the lightnings of 
Demosthenes were driven through smoke and 
tempest upon the enemies of his country. 

Again the Attic dialect was itself divided, 
according to its three eras of development — 
the Old, the Middle, and the New. The Old 
Attic difiered but little from the Ionic. It 
was the language of Thucydides. After his 
time there were large additions of Doric and 
.£olic words to the vocabulary, and thus was 
formed the Middle, and finally the New, 
speech of Attica. In this spoke the great 
orators and wrote the philosophers of Athens 
in the epoch of her glory. 

The .£olic variety of Greek was scarcely 
limited to any definite territory. It was inter- 
fused with the other dialects, and was rather 
a mo(dif3ring element than a distinct type of 
speech. It was the oldest form of Greek, 
and was not much inflected from that primi- 
tive tongue which was the mother, not only 
of all the Hellenic dialects, but also of the 
Italic languages. It thus happened that 

,.£olic, being in a measure a prehistoric type 
of language, was not fully represented in 
literary productions. Before the dawn of 
Greek literature, the Doric and Ionic dialects 
had become the prevalent forms of speech, 
and the poets adopted these, instead of .£olic, 
as the vehicle of their expression, for the 
same reason that Chaucer wrote English in 
preference to Anglo-Saxon. 

The Greek of Athens became, far exodr 
lenee, the language of the Hellenic civiliza- 
tion. To speak it and write it became the 
ambition of the educated in every quarter of 
the world. Its forms and structure became 
fixed by law and usage. Perhaps no people 
ever had so refined a language, or spoke it 
with such purity and grace, as did the Athe- 
nians. For several centuries it retained its 
structure unimpaired. Not until the age of 
Alexander, when it had, by agency of his 
conquests, become the spoken language of 
Macedonians, Egyptians, Ethiopians, Syrians, 
and of many other nations, did a difference 
begin to appear between the classical Greek 
and the vulgar tongue of the people. 

It is of interest, in this connection, to note 
the antecedents of that style of Greek which, 
prevailing in Alexandria, became the vehicle 
of interpretation between the Jewish oracles 
and the western nations. It appears that 
primitive Macedonian was a form of speech 
different • from Hellenic. The affinity seems 
to have been with Illyrian rather than with 
Greek. The early Grecians and Macedonians 
could not understand each other without an 
interpreter. Nevertheless, in the court of 
Philip and Alexander, Greek was the medium 
of communication. It seems, therefore, that 
the vernacular Macedonian had been dis- 
carded by the upper classes of the people, and 
the language of Hellas adopted iu its stead. 
Albeit, Alexander and his court spoke Greek 
like foreigners, and incorporated therewith 
many Macedonian words and idioms. This, 
then, was the speech which the Conqueror car- 
ried with him into Egypt. The term ** Hel- 
lenistic," therefore, as applied to the type of 
Greek employed by the Seventy in the trans- 
lation of the Scriptures, is a misnomer, and 
should be replaced by "Macedonian." 



In all the countries brought under the 
Bwaj of Alexander, the language of the 
Greeks became the language of the governing 
chiSB and of the philosophers. In every such 
country was a gradual and perhaps inevitable 
corruption of the speech thus imposed upon 
native tongues. From the third century of 
our era, the departure from the old standard 
of purity and elegance became so great that 
the Greek authors were no longer understood 
by many of the peoples pretending to speak 
their language. Meanwhile, the transfer of 
the capital of the Roman world to Con- 
stantinople introduced a large element of 
Latin into the heart of Hellenism, and then 
the pilgrims and crusaders from the West 
brought in their importation of Gallicisms, 
until the degeneration of Greek was well-nigh 
complete. Still, in the hands of purists and 
scholars, it continued to be the vehicle of 
literature until, surviving the barbarism of 
the Middle Age, it became a potent &ctor in 
the revival of learning. 

Turning to the structural forms of the 
language of the Hellenes, as distingubhed 
from its historical development, we find much 
of interest. The original Greek alphabet 
consbted of sixteen characters, which were 
reputed to have been brought into Hellas by 
the Phoenician Cadmus. He was a mythical 
king of Thebes and brother of the monarch 
of Phoenicia. The whole matter b legendary, 
but perhaps contains some grains of truth. 
It b probably true that the Greek letters had 
a Phoenician origin, but it b more likely that 
they came in a regular way from the contact 
of the lonians with the scholars of Sidon than 
that they were the beneficent contribution of 
a traveling philosopher. As to the date of 
the introduction, modem antiquarians are di- 
vided in opinion, some holding it to have 
been as early as the fourteenth, others as late 
as the eighth, century before our era. The 
addition of several letters to the sixteen given 
by Cadmus b ascribed to Palamedes; but 
others think that twenty-two of the characters 
were derived directly from Phoenicia, and that 
only the letter hypsUon was of a truly Hellenic 
origin. At any rate, the number of char- 
acters in the Greek alphabet proper is twenty- 

four. It happened, however, in making up 
the list, that two of the letters, the vav and 
the koppa^ were discarded, but their places 
were filled with two others, the phi and the 
chi. The other modifications were the addi- 
tion of pd and omega by the lonians, and 
finally the introduction of the aspirated 6, 
called cto, to serve the purpose of e long. The 
alphabet thus completed was ofiScially adopted 
in Athens, B. C. 403. 

Of the seven vowels employed in Greek, 
two (ly, w) were long, two (c, o) short, and 
three (a, <, o) common. Every initial vowel 
was written with a breathing (*) (*) above it 
to indicate whether it was to be pronounced 
with a smooth utterance, as in the case of an 
initial vowel in Englbh, or be given with an 
aspiration, that b, with the sound of h pre- 
ceding. Marks were also employed to show 
the accentuation of words. The circumflex 
accent (^) might be placed on either of the 
last two syllables of a word; the acute ('), 
on either of the last three, without respect to 
th^ length of the vowel in the syllable so ac- 
cented; the grave (^), on every syllable not 
otherwise marked, but was not vnitten except 
on the last. 

In the earlier ages of Greek literature the 
chanicters employed in writing were what i. 
called uncialf that is, a kind of square, capital- 
like letters, much larger than the body of 
ordinary type. There was no cursive or 
modified style of writing difiTenng from the 
establbhed forms of the letters. Such a de* 
vice as a running-hand of Greek was un* 
known until the second century before our 
era, when the scholars of Alexandria intro- 
duced the cursive system. The ordinary small 
letters, such as make up the body of a Greek 
page, were not adopted until about the 
middle of the eighth century, A. D.; at any 
rate, no manuscripts or inscriptions containing 
that style of letter are known to antedate the 
year 750 of our era. 

In its grammatical structure the Greek 
language is one of the most complete, and, at 
the same time, one of the most flexible in the 
world. The noun preserves five cases out of 
the original eight belonging to the primitive 
Aryan. It also has three numbers ; singular. 



dual, and plural. By this means the discrim- 
ination of objects as it respects unity, binity, 
and multiplicity is easily carried out in speech. 
The langnage presents three genders; mascu- 
line, feminine, and neuter. The article (h6, 
he, td) accompanies the noun and follows its 
inflections. It also has an independent use, 
being capable of representing the absent noun 
as by a delicate innuendo. In its power of 
nominal combination no other language has 
equaled the Greek. There was practically no 
limit to the ability of a Greek author to form 
compound nouns, expressing the most com- 
plex ideas. The striking off of case-endings 
and the juxtaposition of radicals was a process 
so easy and natural as to suggest itself in the 
ordinary flow of speech, and the laws of the 
language were so tolerant of growth as to put 
no restriction on either the poetic imagination 
or the necessity of philosophy. A whole hex- 
ameter might flow in a word, if fancy sug- 
gested the combination. 

The adjective was specially full and rich in 
its expressiveness. Each word of this class 
was capable of one hundred and thirty-five 
endings! Of course, many of these were 
duplicates of others, but the full scheme 
showed the number here indicated.^ In gen- 
eral the adjective conformed to the mutations 
of the noun. There was thus established be- 
tween fact and epithet the closest bonds of 
sympathy. The adjective did obeisance in 
its forms to the noun with which it was 
joined. It swayed to and fro with its master, 
followed his fortunes and vicissitudes, shared 
his wealth and his poverty. 

But it was the Greek verb which most of 
all exhibited the fecundity of the language. 
Here was revealed the great force and per- 
spicuity of the speech of the Hellenes. A 
double series of afiixes, added or prefixed to 
the verb-roots, clearly distinguished the tenses 
as to the time and completeness of the action 
expressed by them. For past time the aug- 
ment, and for completed action the reduplica- 
tion, furnished delicate discriminations for 
which we should look in vain in Latin or in 

iThat is, five cases multiplied by three numbers, by 
three genders, by three degrees of comparison = 185 
adjectival forms. 

N.-Vol. 1-29. 

any other tongue ever spoken in Europe. 
The root of a Greek verb was thus subject to 
a kind of development by means of endings 
and prefixes until the exact notion of the 
time, its point and duration, and the com- 
pleteness of the action, was expressed with a 
specific delicacy of which no other lang<iage 
has ever shown itself susceptible. 

There was thus established among all the 
parts of the formal structure of the Greek 
tongue a kind of sympathetic union whicb 
moved the whole as one. A Greek sentence 
was agitated through all its length and depth 
by the stress of expression. The paragraph 
trembled from end to end when the thrill of 
life awoke in any part. The language, with 
its multitudinous endings, all in harmonious 
accord, lay like a rich meadow of stately 
timothy swaying and waving in the breezes 
of thought. Each stalk nodded to his fellow. 
The ripple of mirth danced over the surface 
like a scarcely perceptible breath of air. The 
shadow chased the sunshine, and the sunshine 
the shadow. A sigh came out of the forest 
and a deeper wave moved gently away to the 
distance. The thrill of joy, the message ot 
defiance, the moan of the disconsolate spirit, 
the psean of battle, the shout of victory, 
every mood and every emotion which the 
mind of man in his most vigorous estate is 
capable of experiencing, swept in rolling 
billows across the pulsating bosom of this 
beautiful speech. 

The tongue of the Greeks was, in its kind, 
as preeminent as their literature. The one 
was the counterpart of the other. So won- 
derful in its completeness is the grammatical 
structure of the language that it has been 
made, not without good reason, the founda- 
tion of linguistic study in nearly all the uni- 
versities of the world. The historian, Cur- 
tius, in summing up the structural elegance 
of Greek, thus assigns to its true place the 
speech of the Hellenic race: "If the grammar 
of their language were the only thing remain- 
ing to us of the Hellenes, it would serve as a 
full and valid testimony to the extraordinary 
natural gifts of this people, which, after with 
creative power appropriating the material of 
their language, penetrated every part of it 


with the spirit, and nowhen left a dead, inert 
muB behind it— of a people which, in spite 
of its decimve abhorrence of every thing bom> 
bastic, circumstantial, or obscure, understood 
how to accomplish an infinity of results by 
the simplest means. The whole language re- 
nmbles the body of an artistically trained 
athlete, in which every muscle, every sinew, 
B developed into full play, where there is no 
trace of tumidity or of inert matter, and all 
is power and life." 

It is not possible within the contemplated 
limits of the present work to discuBs the liter- 
ature of the Greeks under an exhaustive anal- 
yaa. All that can be done is to note, with 
some degree of 
care, the leading 
branches in the 
literary art of the 
Greeks — the poe- 
try and history of 
the Hellenic auth- 
ors. On the very 
confines of the 
cloudy horizon of 
Greek history 
st&nds the sublime 
figure of HouER. 
Myth or man — 
who knows? At 
any rate, he was a 
Being — one whose 
mui.Bi»T(«Bo>»K. nidiancehasfaUen 

Buu Soud, Poladun. „ , , 

on all the subse- 
quent ages of man's endeavor. Even before 
him we have reason to believe that there 
were precur§ive bards of feebler wing who 
put into the lips of the primitive Greeks 
the chant, the piean, the choral song, the 
merry roundelay of the singing girls and 
vintagers. But it remained for the deeds of 
the heroes of the nation to furnish the mate- 
rial of a loftier strain, and Scio's rocky ble 
to furnish the singer. 

Here, then, was the beginning of Epic 
PoETKT — the song heroic which recounts the 
warlike deeds of the valiant and strong. The 
Blind Being chose for one of his themes the 
siege and sack of Troy — its causes, the out- 
rage done to hospitality and trust, the coun- 

sel of the belligerent gods, the array of ni^ 
tions, the stratagem, the catastrophe; and for 
the other the wanderings of the brave and sar 
gacious XnyaseB, involving the social aspects 
of bis own and foreign lands. Thus were 
wrought the Iliad and the Od^neif. 

The work was greater than the theme. The 
language was stUl plastic. Under the magical 
touch of genius the two great epics rose lik« 
exhalations from the new-made earth. They 
were chanted in the ears of all Greece. It 
was the beginning of the literary culture of 
the Aryan race. The influence of Homer's 
heroic songs was transfused, like a strong 
current of ancestral blood, into the whole 
body of Greek letters that rose out of this 
radiant dawn. The Iliad and the Odytao) 
have remained the beet in their kind among 
the works of the human genius; nor is it 
likely that the deliberate judgment of three 
thousand years will ever be reversed in the 
tides of time. 

Tbe Homeric poems have not reached as 
in their original form. At tbe time of their 
production the Greeks already possessed the 
art of writing, but that art was employed 
rather for the brief and business afiairs of 
life than for literary composition. The ear of 
the early Greek was attuned to harmony. He 
would hear the music of verse recited by a 
living master. He would feel the thrill of 
enthusiasm which could be kindled by no life- 
less tablet. The swaying form of the rhap> 
Bodiet, hii> rapt visage, his flashing eye, his 
sonorous voice rising and falling like the sea — 
these were the elements of inspiration, these 
the coals that kindled emulation. Thus it 
happened that memory became the repository 
and the tongue the deliverer of the vene of 

It is likely that for several centuries to- 
gether the poems of Homer, vast in extent 
as they are, were written only in the memo- 
ries of men. Doubtless in this period many 
changes were introduced by the caprices of 
not too faithful rbapsodists — many transpod- 
tions of parte, and perhaps some total loss of 
sections or whole episodes of the epic. Fi- 
nally, however, in a day of happy fortune 
for all the world, tbe poems were reduced to 



writing. Wlule . Pisistratus was tyrant of 
Athen;, the work was undertaken at his in- 
stance and under his patronage. The Athe- 
nian grammarian Onomacritus was appointed 
to revise and arrange both of the poems, re- 
jecting what appeared to him to be the inter- 
polations of weaker bards and the manifest 
corruptions of the ignorant Thus were the 
two greatest epics of the world, flung from 
the vigorous imagination of the Blind Being 
of Ionia, preserved and transmitted to after 
ages in nearly the forms which now they bear. 
Of the time at which Homer flourished only 
so much is known as that he lived in the mys- 
terious epoch where history and &ble blended, 
and when Greece was just beginning to awake 
to a consciousness of her power. 

Around Homer grew up a race of bards 
called the "Cyclic poets" — ^like unto himself, 
but of less repute. They were like the group 
of English writers known as the Shakespearean 
dramatists, clustering about a greater light, in 
whose effulgence they were lost. Not only 
have the works of the Cyclic bards perished, 
but most of themselves have not even left 
behind the legacy of a name. 

After the old Ionian bard came Hesiod. 
He was a Dorian, who flourished about a cen- 
tury after Homer, and dwelt at the foot of 
Mount Helicon, near Delphi. His fond coun- 
trymen set up their poet in rivalry with his 
great predecessor, and even invented a fiction 
that the two had once contested for the palm 
in song and that the award had been made to 
Hesiod. But the story was an impossibility, 
both in time and fisu^t. The subjects selected 
by the Dorian bard were the &bles of the 
gods. Instead of the stirring strifes of heroes 
he recited the hbtory of the national religion. 
He also collected and reduced to verse the 
practical and proverbial wisdom of the peo- 
ple, in a rather tedious didactic poem called 
WotIcb and Days. Between these productions 
and the living pictures of Homer there is, in 
both subject and treatment, the greatest pos- 
sible contrast. Neither in Hesiod, their mas- 
ter bard, nor in his successors, did the Boeotian 
school in Grecian literature ever approximate 
the excellence and breadth of the Ionic and 
Attic authors. 

After the epic — which ceased to be culti* 
vated from the epoch of Homer and Hesiod — 
the next kind of Greek poetry which appeared 
was the lyric. In the form of elegy it became 
as the heroic songs of the masters. The elegy, 
like the epic, took its rise among the Ionian 
Greeks of Asia Minor. To them it seems to 
have been suggested by the degos of the 
Phrygians. It was primarily a song of wail- 
ing, to be chanted with the accompaniment 
of a flute. Among the Greeks, however, the 
elegy took a wider range, and included in its 
subjects the stirring themes of patriotism and 
war. Even love and conviviality were made 
elegiac by the Hellenic bards, who, iq alter- 
nate hexameters and pentameters, chanted the 
fiery charms of passion and the joys of the 

It was in the seventh century B. C. that 
the elegy of the Greeks achieved its greatest 
triumphs. Not infrequently t|ie gravest af- 
fidrs of state, the policy of cities, the conduct 
of war, were determined by a song. Thus 
the old decrepit TYRiiGUS, who was, in answer 
to an oracular call, sent in derision by the 
Athenians to be a leader of the Spartans, 
fired them to a pitch of unprecedented en- 
thusiasm by a battle-lyric composed for the 
occasion. Callinus of Ephesus in like manner 
inspired his countrymen in their war with the 
Magnesians. Solon himself disdained not the 
composition of a poem by which he induced 
the men of Athens to reconquer Salamis. 
The lyrics of Theognis of Megara were col- 
lected and taught as a manual of wisdom and 
virtue. The praises of those who fell at 
Marathon were sung in itnmortal strains by 
SiMONiDES of Chios, while the poems of 
MiMNERMOS exalt the fleeting joys of life 
as the fairest and best to which mortality may 

The next development of Greek verse — 
also lyric — was the iabibic or personal poetry. 
For the old Hellenic bard did not forbear to 
assail his enemy with caustic words as well as 
spears and javelins. This type of poetry 
seems to have been invented by Abchilocus, 
who, taking advantage of the license conceded 
to all at the festival of Demeter to indulge in 
personal mockery and jests, introduced a new 



style of verse, composed in alternate iambi 
and trochees, dipped in the bitterest wit and 
sarcasm, to the extent of driving to suicide 
(such is the tradition) those against whom the 
poisoned arrows were sent flying. Even 
greater and fiercer in invective was the poet 
HiPPONAX, who flourished about the middle 
of the sixth century, and is said to have satir- 
ized to death two sculptors who had carica- 
tured his ugliness. 

After the iambic came the melos, or song. 
This style of poetry was mostly cultivated by 
the -^lian and Dorian bards, who were cele- 
brated for the tenderness of their emotion and 
feeling. In this species of verse the singer 
expressed his own joys and sorrows, his long- 
ing and hope. It was from Mitylene, the 
capital of the island of Lesbos, that the song 
proper took its rise. In Greece of the main- 
land it was admired rather than imitated. 
But there was a Lesbian school where this 
style of composition was encouraged and 
taught. Here flourbhed the aristocrat Al- 
CJEUB, who, in his songs of love and hate, 
poured out the passion of his times. Here 
the great Sappho, the angel of unrequited 
love, achieved in her passionate and beautiful 
hymns the highest place among all the poetesses 
of Greece. The story of her suicide by leap- 
ing from the Lucadian rock because of 
Phaon's neglect seems to have no foundation 
in fact. She was a mother who loved her 
child and taught a school of maidens, in- 
structing them in choral measures and the 
beauty of the dance. Her poems flow with a 
tender and glowing love, the truest and deep- 
est passion, the roost graceful and tuneful 
sentiments, v After her came Anacreon of 
Teos, almost equally celebrated, but flourish- 
ing in a different atmosphere. He was an 
Ionian bard, and had the luxurious grace and 
abandonment of his people. Living at the 
courts of tyrants, and knowing little of the 
deep, pure charms of nature, he gilded arti- 
ficial life and celebrated artificial love. Even 
in his old age, when the fires of youth were 
extinguished, he continued to sing in toords 
the songs from which the spirit had long since 

But by far the greatest of the Greek lyric 

poets was the Boeotian Pindak. He was bom 
in B. C. 522, and was thus a contemporary 
of .^schylus. His education was Attic, but 
the inspiration of his muse seems to have 
been caught from a predecessor, the Sicilian 
Stesichorus, of Himera, who flourished near 
the close of the seventh century. Pindar's 
harp had many tones. He sang in manly 
cadences of public and private life; the 
struggles and vicissitudes of the one, the 
hopes and fears of the other. In his odes he 
rises to the highest flight. The victors in war 
and in the great games enacted in the pres> 
ence of the assembled nation are made famous 
in his heroic song. The style is involved and 
difficult, but the spirit is the spirit of fire. 
He was the evening star of the lyric poetry 
of Greece. A change was passing over the 
national imagination, and the dawn of the 
drama was in the eastern skv. 

The Greeks now demanded the poetry of 
action. The transformation from lyric to 
dramatic was easy and natural— ^liecessary. 
From the ecstatic song representing the joys 
and sufferings of others to impersonation was 
but a step. The Greek chorus belonged alike 
to lyric recitation and dramatic action. The 
transformation was gradual. Thespis of Attica 
was the first tragic poet. His claim to be 
so regarded is based upon the introduction by 
him of an actor who came upon the stage and 
held discourse with the chorus and its leader. 
Then came -^schylus, who added a second 
actor to the dramatis personse; and finally 
Sophocles, who gave a third, thus making the 
list of chai^cters sufficiently extensive for 
complete and complex actions. The chorus, 
however, remained ; for it was deemed neces- 
sary to fill the space between the acts of the 
drama with something which should sustain 
the interest of the spectators. But Dionysus 
and his Bacchic crew of singers and satyrs 
were banished from the stage. Instead of the 
revel and the feast the grave events of the 
national traditions and history were brought 
forward as the subject of the play. 

Then followed the improvement of the 
theater. From the time of the Persian wars 
regular structures of stone took the place of 
the wooden buildings hitherto used for spec- 



laclee. The form of the amphiUieater was 
adopted. The auditorium at Athens vias cap- 
able of seatiDg tweDty thouaaad people. The 
estimate was made for the whole male popu- 
lation of the city. Here was the stage upon 
which were presented the dramas of .£achylus, 
Sophocles, and £uripides. The building was 
open to the sky. The semi-circuUr rows of 
seats were divided traDsversel}' with gangways 
affording easy exit and entrance. On the 
front row of benches sat the dignitaries of the 
state. Judges were appointed to determine 
the merits of the production. The orchestra 
was set in front of the players. On the walls 
surrounding the stage were painted scenes 

and pathetic. He stoops not at all. With 
him it is the work of the gods and of fate. 
The dark destiny of men is the underplay. 
Another drama is enacted on high, over which 
is heat the eye of the awful Zeus, calm, 
severe, omniscient. 

Under the canon of criticism a tn^edy in 
the time of .^schylus must consist of thiee 
pieces, based upon the same fundamental 
theme. There was thus produced what was 
called a "trilogy," the three parts being in 
some sense independent, but in another sense 
subordinate productions. Of these trilogies 
,4Wihylus produced two, the subject of the 
first, called the Fenx, being the great wars of 


represeniiig the country or place wherein the 
play was supposed to have been real. Trian- 
gular prisms were set up in the wings, by the 
revolution of which on their axes an easy 
change of scene could be effected. Neverthe- 
less we should look in vain in the theaters of 
ancient Greece for that elaborate realism 
which is the Iwast of the mo<lern stage. 

Greek tragedy begins properly with the 
great name of .f'iacHYLUs. He it was who by 
the force of his geulus gave form and litb and 
nationality to the new type of literature. He 
was born in B. C. 525. In his youth he 
fought in the battle of Marathon. In his sen- 
timents he sympathized with the old Athens 
of the aristocracy— the ancient r/yiW— rather 
than with the growing deraiwralic principles 
of the commonwealth. His subjecU are lofty 

the Greeks and Perwans, the struggle of 
Europe and Asia. Out of this triad, the cen- 
tral piece, representing the lamentations in 
the palace of Xerxes, at Susa, has been pre- 
served. The subject of the other trilogy, 
known as the Oredeia, was the murder of Aga- 
memnon, with the fatal consequences which 
followed ban! a^er, until the Eumenides were 
finally appeased. This work has been pre- 
served entire, and furnishes the basis of the 
high estimate which all subsequent ages have 
put upon the tragic genius of the author. 

The Greek drama was still further ampli- 
fied by Sophocles. Bom in B. C. 495, he 
followed close to Ji^hylus, of whom he is re- 
garded as the successful rival. Now it was 
that the chorus was abridged and a third actor 
sent upon the stage. The dialogue became 



mora varied aod natural. Individuality of 
character vas achieved. The always lofty and 
paUietic solemnity of the Unguage of .Jlechy- 
luB vas in some measure substituted with the 
language of common life. The men of Sopboclea 

■DPHOcuiK — Kome. LtkleraD. 

•TC more human than those of his predecessor. 
In his themes, however, the sorrowful myster- 
ies of being are still preferred. The dark riddle 
of &te, the unsolved enigma of life, the bard 
destiny of struggling man, beaten by adverse 
winds of duty and inclination, of necessity 
and preference — such ara the mournful topics 
of his dramas. In the Antigmu best of all 
ai« these qualities of the genius of Sophocles 

The next evolution ia presented in Eurip- 
ides. He is less ideal than his predecessor, 
but truer to nature. His drama is more of 
a reality. He takes his stand in the midst of 
human life as it is. His language is the lan- 
guage of the people. The heroes of his plays 
ara more powtWe than those of Sophocles. 
They are redeemed with weaknesses, touched 
with folly, stMued with tears. He has more 

variety in his action, greater freedom, mora 
surprises and vicisdtudea. Nor were the es- 
sentially tragic qualities of his genius less 
tragic for this descent towards the actual plane 
of human life. As occasion required, all tht 
sublime force of tragedy is revealed by bis 
muse. In the Medea the terrible passion of 
Phtedra in revenging her slighted love bos a 
terror hardly equaled in Sophocles and .£echy- 
lus. But with those who succeeded Euripides 
a decline in tragic qualities becomes immedi- 
ately apparent The Greek play is henceforth 
rather the roar of the court-house than a sub- 
lime conflict in the arena of gods and heroes. 

Then came Greek comedy. Hellas laughed. 
She amused herself. She took Bacchus into 
good fellowship. The wine-god was mirthful 
In the autumn, when the lesser Dumysia were 
celebrated, the season was made hilarious with 
mummeries and jokes. Any one present 
might be the victim. The choral song was 
transferred into comic representation. Folly 
mixed a cup and poured it on the beads of 
revelers. For a great while the scene was 
enacted in the village, where rustics gathered ' 
for amusement. In tiie serious city, where 
the weighty afiairs of state engrossed the 
attention of all, there was no time for reck- 
less enjoyment. Not until the beginning of 
the fifth century B. C did comedy make a 
public appearance in Athens, and not until 
near the close of that century was the new 
species of drama received with general &vor. 

Perhaps the 
early structure 
of Athenian so- 
ciety did not 
favor the devel- 
opment of such 
a literature. 
Freedom — the 
freedom of a de- 
mocracy — was 
necessary to in- 
sure immunity, 
without which 
comedy can not 
flourish. Wheuitdidcomeitcamewithlicenae. 
Nothing was too serious or sacred for the 
shaft of the reckless satirist. Man, woman, 



all human b&jib, the war, the etate, the 
heroes, the immortal gods themselves writhed 
tmder the audacious irony and merciless sar- 
casm of the Gi-eek comedian. Mockery, ridi- 
cule, derisive scorn, bitter invective, every 
weapon which the forge of cousciencelesa in- 
genuity could invent or imagine, was put into 
the quiver and swung behind the swaggering 
actor's shoulder. He shot right and left. He 
shouted when bis victim fell. He made grim- 
aces at the corpse. With him Olympus was 
no better than a stable for goats. 

It may be observed, however, that notwith- 
standing this extremity of license the Greek 
comedy has always at bottom a foundation of 
morality. It is the cant of human nature, 
its sham pretense and folly, which received no 
mercy at the hands of the executioner. 

Of all the Greek comedians of the old 
school only one was so fortunate as to have 
his works preserved to posterity — Aristoph- 
anes, greatest uf his kind. He was born iu 
Athens, B. C. 452, &ad produced hia comedies 
between the years 427 and 388. In richness 
of humor and quaintness of invention he 
stands without a peer. His imagination is as 
vivid as his wit is keen. His language is as 
free as hia thought is audacious. He attacks 
the abuses of his times with a wild delight, 
and bis personal satire is fierce in its vehe- 
mence. As the champion of the old regime 
he attacks the demagogues and sophists with 
an excessive Intterness. 
Ill bis literary sympathies 
he is with .£schyluH. He 
despises Euripides and 
bis following. The dema- 
g«^ue Cleon, his contem- 
[Htrary, he brings upon 
the §tage and covers him 
with opprobrium. In his 
Gouda he attacks the 
sophists with unparalleled 
^BinoPBAHE3 severity. He pours upon 

[ifaaamenu dell' intii- them all the bottles of 
"""■* his scorn, and spares not 

Socrates. The folly of the Sicilian expedition ie 
made immortal in the Birds, in which the war 
policy of the Athenians is mercilessly scourged. 
Ihe lawyers of the city felt the castigation of 

his rod in the play of the Wiupi; and in the 
Frogt Euripides is held up to public contempt 
After Aristophanes Greek comedy was 
modified to a great extent in the hands of 
the two principal authors of the Later 
School — Kenamder and Posbidippus. Ths 
license which the 
old comedians had , 
used and abused ■ 
was somewhat | 
abridged, and the . 
subjects of plays F i 
became less per- 
sonal and parti- 
san than hitherto. 

The scenes and »«^M^ • •'. ^ •'• — 
incidents of pri- ^ff-^^ i^^v^^S" ' 

,.» uf»-it. foi. * jj„.T^.r' " 

lies, its misdi- 
rected loves, its grotesque adventures — are sub- 
stituted for theweightiervicesof society. Social 
intrigue, plot and counterplot, the knave, the 
fool, the coxcomb — such are the materials and 
characters of that New Comedy, which, pre- 
vailing to the times of Alexander, was trans- 
ferred to Rome and became the model of in- 
vention in the works of Plautus and Terence. 

After the age of Homer and Hesiod, cen- 
turies elapsed before even the beginnings of a 
prose literature appeared in Hellas. The ear 
of generation after generation was filled with 
the rhythmic cadences of the bards ere the 
project of giving a literary dress to the com- 
mon language of life was conceived or imag- 
ined. Perhaps, when at last the suggestion 
of doing so was entertained, it was with a 
certain dread lest the sacred mystery of letters 
should be profaned by the unhallowed tongue 
of prose. To the courageous and versatile 
louians must be awarded the palm for break- 
ing the poetic spell and daring to commit to 
record their traditions and reflections Jn the 
natural language of history and philosophy. 

Perhaps the first prose work produced by ■ 
member of tlie Hellenic race was a history of 
the founding of Miletus, written by the Ionian 
Cadmus, a native of that city. After him, a 
school of legendary chroniclers grew up in the 
Greek cities of A«a Minor. Some of them 
were travelers. They put down iu prose 



wbat things ioever they saw lUid heard abroad. 
Others rewrote the rhapsodies and legends of 
the bards, but their work was childish and 
UDworth3r to survive. 

" Then came the great Hekodotus, justly 
styled the Father of History. He was bom 
in HalicamassuB, in the year B, C. 484. He 
was a Dorian by descent and an Ionian by 
education. His merit con- 
sists in this, that he, first 
of the great minds of the 
Aryan race, perceived that 
history should be stripped 
of poetic disguises, and yet 
given an artistic and phil- 
osophic form in the lan- 
guage of common life. He- 
rodotus had the genius of 
the traveler, the curiosity 
of an antiquarian, the in- 
dustry of an artisan. He 
Bi»0DOTO».-viscanU. Bought companionship with 
thelit«rati of foreign cities. 
He stored his mind with records of the East. 
He reflected not a little upon the nature and 
causes of events, and thus fitted himself for 
historical authorship to a degree not to be ex- 
pected of bis age. He selected for a theme 
the great struggle between his country and 
Persia. As his narrative proceeds and he 
finds himself in contact with other nations, he 
pauses with a natural grace to recount their 
annals, their customs, their traditions, tlieir 
laws. Garrulous? Grautod ; but such gar- 
rulity 1 Would that the primitive world had 
produced more such charming g09si|>sl To 
spare the cue were to lose the quaintest monu- 
ment of ancient lit«rature. 

After him came the philosophic Thucydides. 
He selected for his theme the then recent 
Peloponnesian war. He thus secured a unity 
of subject for which we should look in vain 
in the work of the Father of History. Edu- 
cated in the political school of Pericles, uuder 
the full influence of the sophists and rhetori- 
cians of Athens, by nature of a calm tempera- 
ment, in which reason predominated over 
intonation, Thucydides came to his task 
fully equipped, both iu himself and his dis- 
cipline. True, his language is sometimes heavy 

and not always perspicuous. True, that 
many of his periotls are inartistic and un- 
musical; but his is the history of reason and 
truth, ihe story is told without passion and 
with but few touches of prejudice. It is a 
story as If told by an impartial statesman who 
reviews with great breadth of vision and im- 
partial judgment one of the most momentouv 
epochs in the history of his people. The Pel- 
oponnesian war thus found an expositor equal 
in greatness to itself. 

.Then came Xenophon — charming story- 
teller of the Athenians. In qualities of mind 
he was inferior to Thucydides. He had 
neither the elevated views nor the unbiased 
judgment of his predecessor. He was withal 
something of an adventurer. Out of sym- 
pathy with his own city and state, he drifted 
to the Spartans, As one of the leaders of a 
baud of mercenary soldiers, he accepts pay 
from Cyrus the Younger and goes with that 
ambitious prince against Darius. He writes 
the Retreat of the Ten Thottmnd, and after- 
wards the Memorabilia of Socrates. His style 
is above reproach, and displays the capabilities 
of the Attic tongue at its best estate. The 
purity of his diction gave him a reputation 
with his countrymen above the intrinuc 
merits of his works. As a model of Attic 
Greek, the Anabam of Xenophon will ever 
hold a leading place; as a history it takes 
rank with the military records of Ciesar's 
Gallic War. 

Then came Oratory — a necessary concom- 
itant of the political freedom 
of the Greeks. The progress 
of Athens from an aristocracy 
to a democracy made public 
speech a prerequisite of leader- 
ship. The greatest debaters 
of the world were Athenian 
citizens, interested in the af- 
fairs of the commonwealth; 
advocates, partisans; men who 
espoused one side of a ques- 
tion with a passionate zeal that "° ^^^^^ ~ 
displaced all other considera- 
tions and made life a burden until the passion 
was liberated in utterance. From this it should 
not be inferred that all the Greek orators were 


men of vehement maimer in public address, i ery was calm and deliberate, using no gestures 
In thisrespectthereweratwoclanesof speakers; I and exhibiting few marked changes of eoun- 
the one represented by Pericles, who in deliv I tenance; and the other by Demosthenes, 

DnwD br H. Leuleiouiii. 



whose fiery impetuosity and mpidity of utter- 
ance were the marvel of his age. 

It has been disputed whether oratory is 
properly a division of literature. Be that as 
it may, certain it is that the orator, being by 
profession a man of afiairs, is more intimately 
involved with the current of public life, and 
is therefore more properly a part of the secu- 
lar history of his country than is the man of 
letters. It thus becomes proper to consider 
the orator and his work in connection with 
the civil and military affairs of the state 
rather than in a sketch of the national litera- 
ture. This method will here be followed, and 
the account of Pericles, JSschines, Demosthe- 
nes, and the other great exemplars of Greek 
oratory, will be reserved for a future chapter 
where their relations to the state will sug- 
gest appropriate notices of their lives and 

Passing, then, to the consideration of the 
Art of the Hellenes we find materials of the 
profoundest interest. Long before the strug- 
gles of the Heroic Age awaked the conscious 
powers of the Greeks there had been in 
Hellas an epoch of art. A people had lived 
there who built structures as imperishable as 
ttose of Nineveh and Memphis. Of this sort 
may be mentioned the ancient reservoirs at 
Orchomenus in Bceotia, the so-called Cyclo- 
pean walls of Tiryns, and the massive ruins 
which have recently been uncovered by 
Schliemann at Mycenae. All of these are 
prehistoric and all exhibit unmistakable proof 
of the architectural skill of some primitive 
people who dwelt in Hellas before the age of 
the Hellenes. The citadel of Agamemnon 
and the Gbte of Lions at Mycensd seem to 
establish the fact of an organized community, 
swayed by arbitrary authority, primitive but 
skillful, at a period long anterior to that in 
which the Greeks began the record of their 
own career as a people. There is thus in 
Greek art a mythical period corresponding to 
the age of fable and tradition. While the 
Hellenes were still m the shadows of legend 
and myth, monuments were reared in Argo- 
lis and Boeotia, whose presence was an enigma 
to the Greeks themselves, and the interpretation 
of which has been the puzzle of antiquarians. 

The ruins of Mycenie are primitive in 
structure. They are massive and peculiar. 
In the building of what is thought to have 
been the treasure-house of the king of the 
people, much artistic skill is displayed. In 
the center of solid masonry of hewn stone is 
a conical vault, the arch being produced by 
the narrowing of successive layers. The 
stones were formerly lined with plates of 
bronze, as were also the ornaments on the 
outside of the vault The plates were ham* 
mered, and were held to their place on the 
face of the stone with rivets. Within this 
treasure-house Schliemann discovered vessels 
and utensils of gold, evidently belonging 
to a royal period in the history of some prim- 
itive race. 

After this epoch most ancient in the art 
of Hellas several centuries passed with no 
development. It was an age of shadows, 
perhaps of decline. Not until the times just 
preceding the Persian wars was there the 
dawn of the true day of the art of the Greeksc 
Of the sixth century B. C. only a single tem« 
pie has been preserved ; but of the following 
hundred years the great columnar edifices of 
Selinus, Agrigentum, and Psestum remain as 
immortal monumente of the age. 

The nucleus of the Greek temple was the 
eella, where stood the statue of the deity. In 
the earliest times the statue was set in a grove; 
the thought of protection from the elements 
suggested the erection of a covering. The 
temple may thus be regarded as the house of 
the statue rather than the house of the god. 
At first the structure was no more than foui 
walls inclosing a cell, with a roof to shelter 
the image. Then came elaboration. Columns 
were erected, first in front, and then on all 
four sides, and on the tops of these were 
placed the entablature. With the growth of 
artistic design the original idea of the temple 
was in a measure obscured. In the great 
structures of the classic age only faint reminis- 
cences of the primeval edifice were preserved. 

The origin of columns can never perhaps 
be ascertained. Long before Greece was 
Greece, the columnar structure had been em> 
ployed in Egypt and in parts of the East 
In the migration of the Hellenes, from their 



Afliatio home they brought with them a 
knowledge of pillared structure. It was not 
80 much, therefore, as inventors that the 
Ionian and Dorian Qreeks produced their 
respective styles of column, but rather as 
improvers and beautifiers of what already 
existed in a ruder and less perfect form. Side 
by side the two columnar styles appeared in 
the Hellenic architecture — ^the Doric and the 
Ionic — each perfect in its kind — each capa- 
ble of the grandest effects known to the 
builder's art 

In their general structure the two orders of 
temple differed but little. The ground-plan 
and design in both were the same. Walled 
terraces were first constructed lifting the edi- 
fice above the profane level of its surround: 
ings. Upon the platform thus produced the 
temple proper was reared. Around the eeSa 
were the four walls, and around these those 
sublime colonnades of fluted pillars which 
have remained the admiration of all after 
ages. The covered space of the Greek temple 
was thus greatly extended beyond the rectan- 
gle of the walls. On the capitals rested a 
decorated impost. This consisted of three 
parts: the architrave, the frieze, and the cor- 
nice^ The roof rose over all in a gentle slope, 
presenting at each end a triangular space, 
called the tympanum. ^ Upon this were set 
those immortal sculptures the parallel of 
which has never been seen in the world. 

The interior space of the classic temple 
was lighted from above by an opening in 
the roof, called the kypaiihron. In the back- 
ground of this single hall stood the statue of 
the god to whom the edifice was dedicated. 
In some instances, when the temple was of 
great size, the inner space was divided by 
transverse rows of columns, and these stood 
sometimes one row above the other, forming 
a gallevy around the hall. Such was the ar- 
rangement in the great temple of Neptune at 

Not every thing in temple decoration 
was left to the artist's chisel, but much to 
the painter's brush. Column, impost, gable, 
and ceiling were all artistically colored. In 
strength and brilliancy of hue the pigments 
employed by the Greek painters of this age 

surpassed all rivalry. Whatever the brightest 
and richest tints of blue and gold and crim- 
son could do to set the temple in a blaze of 
glory, radiant as the sunshine of the Grecian 
sky, that was added by the decorative skill of 
the artist to the already sublime work of the 
builder and the sculptor. Both the Doric and 
Ionic temples were thus improved with the 
beautiful effects of color deftly laid on under 
the guidance of the keenest artistic per- 

In Asia Minor and the .£gean islands the 
Ionic style of structure prevailed over the 
Doric, but in Athens and throughout Hellas 
Proper both styles flourished together. As 
already said, the two differed in the column — 
not in the general character of the edifice. 
The Doric pillar was imposing, massive. It 
gave a solemn grandeur to the building of 
which it was the principal feature. It added 
an air of seriousness and solidity. It was 
plain to toe last degree of severity. It was 
baseless and virtually without a capital, hav- 
ing only a massive, circular disk upon the 
top to support the architrave. The diameter 
of the pillar was so great as to shorten its ap- 
parent height; the shaft tapered but little; 
it stood calmly \fi the repose of infinite 
strength. The Ionic column, on the other 
hand, was the pillar of beauty. Its height 
was augmented by the slender and tapering 
shaft. Elegance and grace and delicacy added 
each her charm to this fluted dream of Greek 
architecture. The Ionic pillar rose on a beau- 
tiftil pedestal and was crowned with a capital 
ornate and airy. It was the poetry, as the 
Doric was the prose, of the magnificent tem- 
ples of Greece. 

Of such grand structures almost every 
Greek city could make its boast These were 
the splendid edifices which wei^ laid in ruins 
by the Persians. These were the grand struc- 
tures which rose again with added beauty in 
the age of Pericles, when Grecian civilization 
shone with its richest luster. Then it was 
that the Acbopolis became the seat of the 
guardian gods of the land, and was adorned 
as no other hill of the world. TemplM and 
statues, the work of the best artlBti OVBT pro- 
duced by the race of man, sh<me afia oveir 



land and sea trom tKe classical and splendid 
brow ot Atliecs. 

Now was fiuietied the Ebechtheitm, the 
great Ionic Bhrine o£ the gods of the people. 
On the site ot the ancient temple of Athene 
the architect Ictinus erected the magical 
Parthenon, the ideal of Doric grandeur, 
which the genius of Phidias adorned with a 
wealth of art never equaled before or after- 
wards. The Propyl-Ea were built by Mne- 
siclee — beautiful colonnades Burmountijig 
broad flights of marble steps by which the 
Acropolis was ascended. 

shonld be honored with the name of preser- 
ration. The masterpieces of Plynotus, of 
Zeuxis, of Apelles have sunk into oblivion ; 
only their imperishable fame, trangmitted by 
the foreign robbers who despoiled Greece of 
her treasures, has remained of what were 
doubtless the greatest achievements of the 
human genius displaying its powers on can- 
vas. All that we can ever hope for is to see 
faintly reflected in the painting of Hercula- 
nsum and Pompeii the borrowed glories of 
the pencils of the Greeks. 
We are not, however, left wholly in the 



The Age op Pericles was the climax of 
Grecian architecture. The Peloponnesian 
war and the wild career of the democracy in 
Athens were unfavorable to further develop- 
ment, even if further developmant had been 
possible. The same great age wivn.?SBed c'so 
the highest achievements of the •.hisel and 
the brush. The art of the painter tollowed 
that of the builder. Unfortunately for the 
woi-'d the work of the former was less sub- 
stan^ial than that of the latter. Not a sisf;le 
piece cf Greek painting belonging to the 
periodof developmentandgreatestexcellence 
has been preserved, unless indeed the tradi- 
tions and reproductions of the Roman artists 

dark as to the actual power of the Grecian 
paintersin the adaptation of colorand design. 
Though every canvas of the great masters haa 
perished, there yet remain the decorated vases 
of Athens and Corinth. From these we are 
able to determine with some degree of satis- 
faction and within the narrow limits of dec- 
orative art the skill in colorand design dis- 
played by the artists, or more properly the 
handicraftsmen, of Greece. Ill these works 
we see, as in other branches of the industry 
of genius, a gradual development from the 
mere linear decoration of the primitive pot- 
tery to the highly artistic designs of the class- 
ical period, when the figures of uisuuid birda 



aud beaets are given with the best effects of 
ceramic art. 

Of the great paiuters of Greece more is 
known than of their works, Pltgnotuh, who 
flourixhed from B. C. 475 to 455, is regarded 
as the first of the masters. By him many uf 
the public buildings of Athens were adorned 
with elaborate frescoes aud splendid panels. 
He it was who is said to have painted Folyx- 
8na with such expressiveness at countenance 
that the vMe Trojan war fiathed from her et/es! 

Then came Zeuxis and Parrhabius. The 
ftrst painted gnpes which deceived the birds, 

But the greatest painter of the Greeks wafa 
Apelles, the court artist of Alexander tho 
Great. He was an Ionian by birth, who fol- 
lowed the traditions of the Sieyonian School 
He began his career in portraiture, and so 
great was his fame that Alexander would per- 
mit uo other to paint him. The generals of 
the eonquerer and the beloved Campaspe 
were also the subjects of his art. From por- 
traiture he proceeded to mythological themes, 
and in these achieved the highest honors. 
His masterpiece was a picture of Vmm Ruing 
from the Sea, executed with such wonderfnl 

From ■□ Archaic Van, BerliD. 

and the other a curtain which deceived Zeuxis 
Athens applauded the achievements of her 
favorite artists,andwealthpoured her treasure 
into their laps. Tithmanes also shared their 
tame. He it was who in his Sarrifiee of Ipk- 
igenia, unable to depict as he would the grief 
of the father, drew a veil over hit fare, and left 
the rest to thought. This great artist belonged 
to what is known as the Sieyonian School, 
and toa time subsequent to the ageof Pericles. 
Pausias, also, was a member of this group. 
He had the reputation of possessing great 
realistic powers and extraordinary genius in 
the art of foreshortening. 

I sweetness and delicacy as to surpass all com- 

■ petition. 

From the age of Apelles painting declined 
until its glory was distiguished with the glory 
of Hellas by the conquest of the country by 
the Romans. Nevertheless, in the period be- 
tween the time of Alexander and the final 
destruction of Greek nationality, many artists 
flourished who under more favorable circum- 
stances would have done honor to their coun- 
try. Such was Pbotoqenes of Rhodes and 
the realistic Theon, whose picture of the 
Swordsman gave him merited fame. 

But the chisel of Hellas surpassed her 


pencU. The plastic art of the Oreek roae to 
a pitch of excellence which pictorial repre- 
sentation never could attain. Whatever com- 
petition the paintera of modern times — notably 
&ose of the fifteenth and the sixteenth cen- 
tury — may cl^m with the paiaters of Greece, 
competition with the Oreek sculptors tiiere is 
and can be none. It is safe to set the names 
of Phidias and Praxiteles in a category by 
themselves; for none others have to an equal 
degree won the admiration of mankind. Like 
the painting of the Greeks, sculpture followed 
in the wake of the useful arts. Literary 
culture preceded it. Only when refinement 
and leisure had been attained by the indus- 
trial pursuits, only when war had aroused and 
poetry had soothed the spirit of Hellas, did she 
b^in to give form to fancy and make her 
thought imperishable in marble. 

Sculpture had its rude beginnings. The 
•arly Greek exercised his skill in carving 
wood and hammering metal. The art of cast- 
ing in bronze, said to have been first practiced 
by two Samians, Rhoicus and Theodobus, 
also preceded Uie carving of stone. At the first 
sculpture was employed almost exclusively for 
temple decoration, but it was not long in 
being freed from such thraldom. The human 
form became the model. The gymnasia had 
taught the lesson of natural modesty, and im- 
parted to the naked body all the exquisite 
grace and beauty of which it is susceptible. 
To reach ont after this ideal of loveliness was 
the passion which seized the sculptors of 
Greece and gave them inspiration. So, be- 
ginning in .£gina, a class of artists arose who 
with consummate skill began to chisel in 
stoue the beautiAil lineaments of the human 

At the first there was much that was 
rude and conventional, but the artist more 

and more threw oflT his fetters, until, by th« 
middle of the fifUi century, perfect freedom 
had been achieved. Then Mybon and Polt- 
CLETUB arose, the one with his great works in 
bronze, and the other with his beautiftil mar^ 
bles. Myron it was who produced the Lada», 
a victor in a foot race who died at the goaL 
The last gasp is on his lips. He pants. He 
is dead. The masterpieces of Polycletes were 
the Jhryt^wrut, a young and beautiful spear> 
man ; the Diadumema, a boyisfa figure, bound 
as to his brows with a wreath of flowers ; and 
the Canephora, or maidens with their basketa 
Phidiab was the chief glory of the admin- 
istration of Pericles; To him was committed 
the work of making the Parthenon sublime. 
From his Studio .went forth trophy after trophy 
to adorn the crownitig glory of the Acropolis. 
Indeed, it is not conceivable that one mind 
should have de- 
Bigned, much lees 
one hand executed, 
the multitude of 
works which are 
ascribed to Phidias. 
If, is more likely 
that a group of 
great ardsts, work- 
ing under his (fireclion and inspiration, coD- 
tributed in keenest rivalry the wonderful dec- 
orations of the Parthenon. A description of 
the separate pieces would occupy a chapter. 
Around the ce2Ia was a frieze four hundred 
feet in length covered with bas-reliefs. The 
metopes were occupied with ninety-two sculp- 
tures representing the Combaia <if the Cadaun. 
The work on the frieze presents the great 
proces^on of the Ptmathenaa — a living pano- 
rama of the scenes which appealed most 
strongly to the imagination of the Greeks. 

In statuary proper Phidias, if possible, sur- 
passed the sublimity of his reliefs. His statuea 
of A!heM and the (Hympian Zaa were re- 
garded as the master works of antiquity — the 
latter being classified as one of the Beven 
Wonders of the world. Both this and the 
Athene were done In that magnificent Style 
of art called dvnpdepkaniine, that is, wrought ID 
ivory and gold. It was a revival and gloiifi- 
caUon of- one of the most ancient artistic 



methods known to the Qreeks, namelyr the 
overUjdiig of a statue with bammered plates 
of metal. But the rude works of the primi- 
live artists gave but little prophecy of the 
si^endors of which this style was capable in 
the hands of a Phidias. To him also was at- 
tributed the fomous group of Niobe — that 
mother of anguish, smitten by the gods for 
her maternal pride. 

After Phidias, Pbaxtteles stands highest 
among the sculptors of the Greeks. His 

this artist that Alexander would be modeled 
by DO other. His moat fomous work is the 
Apoxyomenog, now in the Vatican MuMum. 
After the time of Lysippus two schoob of 
sculpture arose, the one having its seat in 
Pei^mon aud the other in Rhodes. The 
.artists of these schools followed and imitated 
their predecessors; but their works in many 
instances exhibited original force directed by 
the hand of genius. The Pergamiue aculpton 
were specially noted for the realistic effects at 


theme was passionate love. Venus was his 
ideal. In five statues he gave her the form of 
marble. His AjJii-wiile Kiiidoa is preserved — 
in a copy — in the museum at Muuich.' 

At the head of the sculptors of the time 
of Alexander the Great stood Lyseppub. He 
introduced a new quality into statuary — that 
of an ideal refinement upon nature. His 
works show a delicacy in limb and member 
which could hardly be equaled in those of any 
other master. So great was the reputation of 

'The Vetau of Melot, by an unknown artist, be- 
longs to this period, and is ngarded as par rj-c«U«nc« 
Ibe most beautiful piece of (jrecian scolptare. 

which they aimed in their productions, many 
of which are wonderful in fidelity. Such ii 
the celebrated piece represent! og a dying 
Gaul in the Boman amphitheater — a work 
which evoked from the genius of Byron one 
of his finest stanzas : 
"I see before me the gladiator lie; 

He leans upon liis liquid — his manly brow 
Consents to death, but conquen agony. 

And his drooped head ainis gradually low^ 

And through his side the last drops, ebbing slow 
From the rod gash, fall heavy, one by one, 

Ijke the first of a thunder-shower ; and now 
The arena swims around liim — he is gone. 
Ere censed the inhuman shout which hailed tne 
wretch who won." 


Of the Rhodian school of urtista tne work 
of greatest merit which haa been preserved 13 
the group of the Laoeoon, the joint product 
of the three sculptors, Ao''jANDROs, Athana- 
D0BU8, and PoLYDORUS. This celebrat«d piece 
and the Dying Gladiator, just described, stand 


productions of Grecian chisels down to di« 
time when the ftvedom of Hellas was extin- 
guished by the Ronians. From that time 
forth, though the love of art continued, no 
artista arose to rival the great masters who had 
flourished before the days of spoliatioo and 


in the museum of the Vatican at Heme. A 
second work of Rbodian art, almost ai cele- 
brated as the LaocooD, is the group of the 
Famete BvU, representing the binding of 
Dirke to a wild bull by Amphion and Zethus. 
It is the joint product of the sculptors Apol- 
LOKIU8 and Taukiscus. Such were the last 

servitude. It became the policy of Rome, 
however, to fost«r for her own glory the 
genius of the Greeks; and under her liberal 
patronage were produced not a few of the 
celebrated sculptures to be hereafter noticed, 
such as the ApMo Bdvederv and the Venua da 


HE life of the Greeks was 
preeminently a life of 
publicity. At day-break 
the people rose and went 
forth. Having broken 
his fast with some bread 
dipped in wine, the citi- 
zen sought the open place to take his part in 
the busy scene of public and private affairs. 
Even before this early hour the country folk 
had arisen and made their way to the markets. 
In ihe marts were exposed the products of 
the field and the ganlen. Here were vegeta- 

bles and fruit and milk and honey. At the 
fountains were seen the water-cariiers hurry- 
ing to and fro with tlieir pitchers. The arti- 
sans and shopkeepers soon tlirong^ the streets, 
and the city hummed with the noise of induH- 
try. Nor should the troops of boys hurrying 
to school be forgotten as an interesting feature 
of the life that filled the streets of Athens at ' 
early morning. 

Tlie public market of the city was a scene 
of hurry and, withal, of hilarity; for the 
Athenians were never morose. The buildings 
stood in the center of town, where the prin- 



dpal streets crossed, affording ready entrance 
from all directions. Instead of the low booths 
which in modem cities so often pass for market- 
houses, the Greeks gave to their buildings 
used for this purpose much care, both in 
structure and ornamentation/ The place was 
aot only a market but a public promenade, 
where friend met friend, exchanged the usual 
civilities of life, and discussed the a&irs of 
the state. 

In the difierent apartments of the market 
the various products were exposed, each after its 
kind. Some sold wine ; others, fruits ; others, 
peas and lentils; others, flowers. For the 
Greeks never banqueted until they had 
wreathed themselves with flowers. It was the 
9BStheticism of a natural civilization. The 
flowe^girls of the Greek market-place were 
many times made the subjects of the painter^s 
brush and the sculptor's chisel. 

Not only were the daily needs of the people 
supplied from the market, but around this 
SQuare of the city were arranged the principal 
buildings belonging to the other vocations: 
shops of artisans, physicians' stalls, artists' 
studios, places for loungers and gossips. Here 
the witty assembled. Here the doctors dis- 
coursed on the art of healing. Here Hip- 
pocrates prescribed for his patients. Here 
the popular satirist made the physician smart 
with hk puns and epigrams. Of Dr. Hermas 
the bitter rogue said : 

" Diophantes, sleeping, saw, 
Hermas, the physician : 
Diophantes never woke 
From that fatal vision ! " 

Around the market were also gathered 
clowns and showmen, sellers of amulets and 
charms, venders of nostrums and ointments. 
In another part were the money-changers and 
bankers, domestic merchants and importers of 
foreign goods. The money-changers were the 
notaries who authenticated documents and 
certified the validity of contracts. They re- 
ceived deposits, charged commissions, issued 
checks and drafts. Before their benches were 
frequently seen many of the wealthiest citi- 
zens of the state. 

The great majority of those who plied vo- 
cations in the Greek market were men. The 
N.— Vol. 1—30 

exceptions were in the case of the sellers of 
bread and flowers. These branches were man- 
aged by women and girls. The ladies of 
Athens went not to market But of men — 
old men, youtlis, striplings — all classes were 
here congregated from day to day. Here 
Socrates walked with his demure visage and 
far-seeing eyes. Here Diogenes carried hit 
lantern. Here came the frivolous dandy with 
his new suit and cane. Only the public 
oflicers, who during market hours were engaged 
elsewhere in administrative duties, and the 
artisans plying their vocations, were not seen 
in the noby but witty crowds about the public 

There is little doubt that several traits of 
Athenian character — its rage for discussion, 
its whimsicality, its madness for politics — ^were 
in some measure traceable to the life of the 
market-place. Here grew and was stimulated 
that tendency to extremes for which the 
Greeks have been so much marked by soberer 
peoples. They were capable within the brief- 
est period of feeling and exhibiting the highest 
pitch of enthusiasm and the lowest ebb of 
despondency. In the market one spirit fired 
a thousand. There bad news quenched hi- 
larity and sent all to their homes in despair. 

The citizens of Athens — and Athens is 
typical of all the free cities of Greece — were 
a populace. It was the native soil of the 
demagogue, the sycophant, the statesman. 
Whether a man would be one or the other de* 
pended upon his character and genius. Polit* 
ical parties could but flourish here. Athens 
was a lawyers' camp. Broils and litigation 
were the necessary results of that type of free- 
doqi which was claimed by the primitive 

So vast was the activity and so keen the 
litigious instincts of the Athenians, that in the 
heyday of the city's power a fourth or fifth 
of her people attended court every day I 
Aristophanes, in his comedy of the Birdsj de- 
clares that the cicada sings for a month, but 
that the Athenians buzz with lawsuits to the 
end of their lives. The satirist then makes 
two Athenians, tired out with the unceasing 
contentions of their city, go on high and found 
another commonwealth in the clouds. But 



scarcely was 4he new city organized until the 
Athenian lawyers and sycophants rose in a 
flock and went to it! 

While Athens remained under the aris- 
tocracy, courts were organized in ten different 
quarters of the city. When the government 
took on the democratic form, the judicial 
power fell into the hands of the whole body 
of the citizens. From all who were over 
thirty years of age six thousand were drawn 
by lot to act as jurymen. Of these one thou- 
sand were drawn out as talesmen. The re- 
maining five thousand were divided into ten 
sections, and each section was assigned to hear 
causes in one of the ten judicial districts of 
the city. Except on the occasion of public 
festivals and holidays, these courts sat every 
day in the year. High benches were arranged 
for each of the great juries, and on a lower 
level in front was the arena where the suitors 
and their advocates appeared .n the trial. 

The proceedings were always public, and 
were attended by great throngs, who were anx- 
ious to witness what was done, and especially to 
hear the pleadings. The courts indeed were 
much more attended than was the Pnyx, where 
four times a year were held the meetings of 
the great assembly. The fee which was paid 
for presence at court was larger than that 
which was given for going to the Pnyx, and 
for this reason the magistrates had to adopt 
the measure of fining in order to secure 
attendance at the latter. Sometimes a rope 
smeared with red paint was stretched across 
the street and carried rapidly forward with a 
hustling crowd in front; for whoever was 
touched with the paint was punished with a 
fine. A sufficient crowd could thus be ob- 
tained to attend to the legislative affairs of 
the city. When the people were assembled 
on the terraces of the Pnyx and order had 
been secured by the bailiffs and policemen, 
any citizen might propose a measure and 
secure, if he could, its adoption. Any one 
might address the assembly foi or against the 
proposed measure, and in doing so the speaker 
wore a crown as a badge of inviolability. So 
great was the concession to freedom of speech ! 

The edicts of the public ass^^bly were 
carried into effiect by the BoulS, or Council, a 

body of five hundred citizens, to whom was 
committed the execution of the laws. The 
meetings of this body were held in the Bovleih 
terium, a public building situated between the 
Acropolis and the market«pace. The Council 
was divided into ten sections of fifty members 
each, and each section was assigned its turn 
in duty by lot It was before this Bbul^ or 
Great Council that the international affairs of 
Greece were transacted. It had control in 
general of foreign afiairs. It received amba» 
sadors and made treaties. To be a member 
of this august body was the highest civil dig- 
nity t6 which an Athenian might aspire ; and 
yet so complete was the reign of democracy 
that any one, however humble, might hope 
for a seat in the Bouleuterium. So great was 
the difference between the freedom of Greece 
and the absolutism of the oriental monarchies! 

In entering the domain of the private life 
of the Greeks what first strikes the attention 
is their hospitality. It was a fundamental 
principle with the Hellenes that the stranger 
should be entertained. Though he were an 
enemy, Zeus Xenios required that he be re- 
ceived in a hospitable manner. No question 
might be asked of the stranger who came unan- 
nounced. He might take his seat at the board, 
and should be served with the best. After he 
had eaten and drank, his nativity and mission 
might be inquired. From the days of Homer 
the guest was received with courtesy. He 
was given a bath. Food and drink were 
placed before him. Servants attended to his 
comfort A couch was spread in the hall. 
He rested. He went his way in peace. 

With a development of Greek society, how* 
ever, there was a necessary curtailment of pa- 
triarchal hospitality. Travel for travel's sake 
became more common, the demands upon 8<y 
cial bounty more numerous. Still there never 
was a time when hospitality ceased to be the 
rule. There was something in the nature of 
the Greek analogous to what is seen in the 
modem Parisian. He was sociable. By pref- 
erence he ate not alone. He either invited 
others or was himself entertained. He could 
not endure solitude. Life with him was de- 
fined as an opportunity to talk ; and the best 
of life was with a group of friends at the table. 



In the earlier times the Oreeks lived fru- 
gally. The fare of the Homeric heroes was 
of Uie plainest. The meats were the flesh of 
the d(Hnestic animals roasted on spits. Home- 
made bread was passed from hand to hand. 
Nor did the ancient Hellenes, like the glut- 
tons of Rome, eat to repletion and satiety. 
With the development of the means of living 
greater variety .was introduced. Poultry and 
game were added to the meats. Fish and 
cheese became staple articles of food. Oys- 
ters and crabs and Boeotian eels came to be 
regarded as delicacies on the tables of the 
rich. Most of the vegetables peculiar to the 
north temperate zone where it slopes towards 
the tropics were abundantly served. Then 
came the wines, of which the variety and qual- 
ities produced from the vintages of Hellas 
and the Cyclades were superior to those of 
any contemporaneous country. 

As a rule the preparation of the feast was 
intrusted to the supervision of the Greek ma- 
tron with whom it was a point of honor that 
her lord and his guests should banquet in 
good style. Where the feast was of such 
proportions as to become a public reception 
rather than a private meal, the services of 
professional cooks were procured for the occa- 
sion. Though woman was then, as ever, the 
presiding genius of the preparatUm, she was 
allowed no place at the board. When, how- 
ever, there were no invited guests, the hus- 
band frequently dined with his wife in the 
gynceeonitis or woman's apartment of the 

At nearly every meal, however, friends were 
invited; for in the gymnaaia and market, 
place man met man, and the two went to- 
gether to dine. Before the meal was begun 
all the participants carefully prepared them- 
selves. They bathed. They perfumed them- 
selves. They put on their best attire. When 
all was ready, they exchanged salutations. 
An ode was sung. The table was spread in 
the andraniiiSf or the man's hall of the house. 
The board was adorned with coverings and 
hangings. Couches were spread; for the 
Oreeks reclined at the feast. The left arm 
rested on a cushion. The head was crowned 
with a chaplet of flowers. On each couch 

were two guests. The place of honor was 
next to the host Each was assigned his 
place at the board. A slave spread the 
viands and brought the cups of wine. A 
spoon was laid before each guest. Plates 
there were none; neither knives nor forks. 
The meats were served already cut into bits, 
which the eaters took with their fingers. The 
drinking was reserved for the close. Then 
the wine was mingled with two or three parts 
of water : the Greek was by nature too much 
of an sesthete to drink fire at a banquet. 

The servants of the table were the young- 
est and handsomest slaves. They crowned 
the heads of the banqueters with flowers, and 
garlanded their breasts with myrtle and vio- 
lets. After the feast came the song and the 
dance, generally performed by the servants. 
The guests were many times heated with 
wines, and not infrequently the feast degen« 
erated into a revel. It was, however, the 
excess of nature rather than the deliberately 
sought intoxication which the drinkers of the 
North indulged in for the sheer oblivion which 
followed. To the Greek, delight, exhilaration, 
exuberance of spirit, the joyous ecstasy of 
companionship, the thrill of elevated emotion, 
the forgetfulness rather than the oblivion of 
care and dread, — such were the motives of 
hb abandonment to the pleasures of drink. 
So he and his poets praised the wine. Anao- 
reon but expressed the common question of 
the Greek race in one of his odes : 

" Thirsty earth drinks up the rain. 
Trees from earth drink that again. 
Ocean drinks the air, the sun 
Drinks the sea. and him the moon. 
Any reason canst thou think 
I should thirst while all these drink ?'* 

Such was the power and influence of the 
Greek feast that the greatest of the philoso- 
phers and sages forebore not to participate in 
its pleasures and to praise both it and its 
memories. So did even Socrates and Plato. 
When, in B. C. 416, the poet Agathon, on 
the day after his victory in tragic verse, gave 
a banquet to hb friends, the greatest minds 
of the ancient world gathered in honor of the 
occasion ; and the feast itself was made th« 
basb of Plato's S^pnposium, one of the mosi 



charming pieces of literature vhich ever pro- 
ceeded from that tall spirit.* 

During the night the streets of Athens 
were in charge of public slaves and police- 
men. For such oflSces Scythians were pre- 
ferred. Armed with their bows and arrows, 
they patrolled the public places, and muttered 
broken Greek at the disorderly. About one 
thousand two hundred of these uncouth 
guards were nightly encamped on the Areop- 
agus. TTieir services were in constant de- 
mand to check and repress the uproar and 
riot of the unmanageable crew of young 
Athenians who poured through the streets in 
the reckless abandonment of mischief and the 
not infrequent perpetration of crime. 

The women of the ancient Greeks had 
more freedom than among any other primitive 
people; and they repaid the gift with a 
munificent contribution of beauty and faith- 
fulness. Alcestis gives her life as a ransom 
for her husband's. Antigone follows a father's 
wretched fortunes with all a daughter's love. 
Penelope for twenty years longs for her absent 
lord. What to her are suitors while A« b far 
away? Andromache stands by Hector to the 
end. Even Helen is the victim of the in- 
trigue of the immoi-tals rather than the way- 
ward and guilty wife, insomuch that, after 
her return to Menelaiis, she is regarded as a 
true and noble queen. Such was woman in 
the age of the heroes. 

In the later developments of Greek civiliza- 
tion woman suffered. She became restricted 
in her freedom, and lost her ascendency over 
the minds of men. Perhaps the change in 
her condition and rank may be attributed to 
the constant encroachments of democracy, 
which, by making every man a participant in 
public affairs, while not conceding like pre- 
rogatives to woman, gradually drew off one 
of the sexes to the market-square and the 
Pnyx, there to discuss the many times facti- 

' It will be remembered that it was at this feast 
of Agatbon that the mad-drunk Alcibiades broke 
in unbidden, assumed the r61e of symposiarch, 
drank a great bowl of wine, put a garland on the 
big, brain-knotted head of Socrates, and declared 
that the reason why the old sage was not already 
drunken was because there was not wine enough 
oi Greece to intoxicate him I 

tious issues of politics, while at the same time 
the other sex was more and more restricted by 
domestic duties and limited by the horizon of 
home. It was the pernicious political dis- 
covery that each of the sexes has a " sphere'' — 
a discovery which has cost the world centuries 
of retrogression. 

In the Dorian and iE/)lian states, most 
notably in Sparta, the Greek woman came 
more nearly maintaining her old-time inde- 
pendence and consequent influence over men 
and public afiairs than in the more highly 
civilized commonwealths of the lonians. The 
Spartans continued to make a boast of their 
women long after the time when the philoso- 
phers, to say nothing of the politicians, of 
Athens had come to pass them by with indif- 
ference. The Spartan mothers retained the 
old-time flavor of heroism even as long as 
they had a country. They reared their sons 
and gave them to the state. The epitaph of 
Damaineta continued to find exemplification 
among the heroic daughters of that brave 
land — 

" Eight sons Damaineta to battle sent, 
And buried all beneath one monument. 
No tear she shed for sorrow, but thus spake^ 
'Sparta, I bore these children for thy sake.* '* 

The Ionian women of the classical age 
were less esteemed for heroic than for femi* 
nine qualities. The girls were for the most 
part secluded. On the occasion of public fes- 
tivals they appeared and took part in the 
songs and dances. They were bred more and 
more to the indoor than to the outdoor life. 
Housekeeping, however, was not taught until 
after marriage. Then the care of the Greek 
home devolved almost exclusively upon the 
woman. In this relation she came to be dis- 
prized as something of a drudge. The poets 
and wits made her the object of innumentble 
satires. She was left to her beauty and grace 
for protection rather than to any chivalrous 
sentiment among the men. Nevertheless, 
with these many disadvantages, the women 
of Attica continued to be ladylike and noble. 
The Greek was rarely discourteous to his 
wife. Her modesty and dignity were not 
often shocked by rude language or baSe con- 
duct. Her home was sacred from the intru 



son of atraogers, aod she was little auDoyed 
by the recIdeesneBa of men. 

Id the matter of nuuriage the selection and 
contract were made by the parents. In mak- 
ing choice they were influenced not a little 
by thoae social considerations which the over- 
prudent &ther and mother have in all time 
been disposed to substitute for the preference 
of the parties most concerned. The prospec- 
tive husband was not infrequently obliged to 
pay the debts of bis father-in-law as a condi- 
tion of betrothal. But 
as a general rule the 
selection of the hus- 
band or wife was made 
from the circle of 
Mends and according 
to the wishes of the 
young people who were 
to be joined. Domes- 
tic happiness was, after 
all, die rule, and social 
misery the exception, 
in the households of 
the Greeks. 

As it respects fidel- 
ity, the law was very 
severe with the women 
and very lax with the 
men. The discrimina- 
tjon in this regard was 
80 great that in some 
stages of Greek society 
mcrriage was well-nigh 
at a discount in the 
presence of male aban- 
donment. In the Io- 
nian cities of Asia 

Ifinor and the archipelago, and more 
particularly in Corinth and Athens, a large 
claas of women arose known as hektrm, 
whose lives and influence were opposed 
to domestic ties and wifehood. Sometimes 
women of this class were accomplished 
to the last degree in the culture of their 
limes. Such was Thargelia of Miletus, who, 
in her relations with the king of Persia, exer- 
cised an influence in favor of her country. 
Such especially was the renowned Aspasia, 
who by her association with Per'cles became 

known and respected throughout all Greece. 
Such were her gifts and genius that both he 
and Socrates acknowledged their indebtedness 
to her for lessons in orator}- and philosophy 
Nor should mention he omitted of Lais, whc 
obtuned an ascendency over the cynical spirit 
of Diogenes. The story of the B<»otian 
Phryne is well known, whose charms exposed 
before the judges saved her from sentence of 
death, and whose beauty was made the in- 
spiration of Praxiteles when he modeled the 


Venus of Knidos, and of Apelles, when he 
painted the goddess rising from the sea. 

Looking for the home of the Greek we 
find nothing but description. Not a single 
house of the classical age has been preserved 
for the iuapection of modern times. No Her- 
culaneum or Pompeii has laid il£ contribution 
of protecting ashes on a Greek town or vD- 
lage. But the descriptions of the ancient 
writers are abundant, and from these may be 

' For types of Men, see 
War," p. 610. 

' Heroes of the Trojan 



drawn a fair reproduction of the abodes of 
the Hellenes. Their houses belonged to the 
Southern rather than the Northern type of 
buildings. Instead of one great hall lighted 
from without and steeply roofed, the house of 
the South consisted of an inclosure about a 
rectangular court, from which the light is ad- 
mitted into the various apartments. It was a 
house of this sort in which the Greeks of the 
Heroic Age made their dwelling. Whether 
the common abode of the peasant or the 
palace of the prince tbe type was the same, 
the structure being varied merely in its de- 
tails and adornment. 

The first distinctive feature of the Greek 
house within was the division into a man's 
and a woman's department — the androtiUis and 
the fftpfUBconiiia. Above the first court was a 
fecond or even a third, according to the 
wealth and ambition of the builder. In vil- 
lages and other situations where there was 
abundance of room, the ground-plan was a 
rectangle about twice as great in length as in 
breadth, but in cities where space on the 
streets was valuable the frouts of the houses 
were narrowed, and the depth and height of 
the buildings proportionally increased. 

On the outside the houses of the Greeks 
were generally stuccoed and painted. In the 
second story front some small windows looked 
down on the street. Between two columns 
below was the door, which was guarded by a 
slave, and was opened at the signal of knocks. 
Between the door and the street were the 
apartments of the servants, arranged on either 
side of a passage. 

The andronitis, or man's hall, was generally 
surrounded with columns. This apartment 
occupied the front of the dwelling. Here 
the man of the house attended to his private 
a&irs, assisted by his steward and servants. 
Here he prosecuted his studies. Here were 
his parchments. Here he received and enter- 
tained his friends. Here was spread the ban- 
quet — of which an account has already been 
given. From the andronitis a passage lead- 
ing to the rear entered the woman's hall or 
gynseconitis, where were arranged the various 
apartments for the female occupants of the 
bouse. Here the women lodged, washed the 

linen, spun and wove. From these rooms a 
second passage, closed by a gate, led into the 
garden in the rear of the dwelling, or into 
the street if the building extended the whole 
depth of the square. 

In the center of the whole establishment 
was the court called the Prostas — a place 
sacred to religious devotions. Here stood the 
fiunily altar. Here in the background was 
set up the statue of Hestia, the protectress of 
the hearthstone. Here were celebrated the 
festivals and anniversaries of the fisunily. 
Here were offered the sacrifices and vows of 
religion. Here the marriage was celebrated. 
Here the new-bom child was joyously wel- 
comed into the household. Here at the altar 
of Hestia was the refuge of the slave and 
panting fugitive who fled thither for pro* 

From the earliest times the Greeks took 
pride in decorating their houses. Already in 
the Homeric age ornaments of metal and 
ivory were beaten or carved for the adorn- 
ment of the walls and cornice. In the most 
ancient ruins which have been uncovered — 
those of Mycenae and Tiryns — ^the work of 
decoration is already fully displayed, even in 
the Treasure-house of Atreus. The work of 
the hammer and the chisel preceded that of 
the brush. So far as artistic painting is con- 
cerned, it was at first restricted to buildings 
of a public character. Alcibiades is said to 
have been the first to employ a painter to 
fresco and ornament hb house with artistic 
figures in color. Afterwards, however, down 
to the times of Alexander the Great, this 
kind of decoration grew in fashion, especially 
in Athens, until all except the poorest houses 
bore some trace of the artist's skill. Even 
Zeuxis was many times called from his studio 
to honor with his brush the palaces and villas 
of the wealthy Athenians. 

It is the peculiarity of modem times that 
mechanical skill has taken the precedence of 
art. One of the results of this interchange 
of faculties b the superior elegance and splen* 
dor of modem furniture as compared with 
that of antiquity. Still the latter was not 
wanting in many evidences of artbtic taste, 
and especially in a certain Oriental magnifi- 



cence. Of course, the couches and tables of 
the kings of the East were gorgeous to the 
last degree, but in democratic Greece the 
same class of motives did not exist for rich 
and costly trappings. Here it was merely 
the gratification of the SBsthetic faculties that 
led to whatever elegance was displayed in the 
furniture of the Grecian dwelling. This taste 
led to a considerable variety of patterns and 
designs. The chairs, tables, and couches were 
frequently of costly workmanship. Sometimes 
the frames were cast of bronze, or when carved 
of wood were inlaid with silver and ivory. 
The feet and exposed parts of the frames of 
such articles of furniture were generally exe- 
cuted in imitation of the form of some animal 
or creature of mythology — the lion's paw, the 
dolphin's back, the half-developed form of a 
nymph. Many of the chairs, especially those 
of the women, were of great elegance, the 
backs being carved to fit the person, and the 
seats laid with ornamented cushions, upon 
which the deft fingers of the maidens of 
Greece had exhausted their skill. 

The Greek couch consisted of^a kind of 
bench for the mattress, guarded at one end 
with a head-board, but without a back. Over 
this, in the earlier times, were laid covers, 
but these at a l^ter date were superseded with 
cushions filled with feathers. The bedstead, 
like the frame of the chair, was sometimes 
artistically designed, and sometimes plainly — 
even roughly — executed, according to the 
taste and means of the owner. The frame 
of the bed was generally concealed by drapery 
drawn around it, the same being ornamented 
with fringes, tasseb, and gold and silver 

Preserved in chests in the gynseconitis 
were the articles of the toilet belonging to the 
women — a numerous array of caskets, cosmet- 
ics, and jewelry. Indeed, no people, whether 
ancient or modern, have given more attention 
to artistic care of the person than did the 
matrons and maidens of Greece. But the 
peculiarity of the latter was, to their honor, 
that their whole notion of personal attractive- 
ness as heightened by art consisted in beauti- 
fying and not destroying nature. 

Night divides the world with the day. 

What should the Greeks do in the darkness? 
It is matter of surprise that the great genius 
of the race did not more concern itself with 
the matter of artificial illumination. The 
problem of light was one in which neither 
they nor any other people of antiquity seemeA 
to take much interest. The homes of tha 
Greeks were lighted with oil-lamps with wicks^ 
and the streets with torches. In the actual 
contrivance there seems to have been no 
advance from the first principles, such as are 
adopted by half-civilized races in illumination; 
but in the designs of the lamps it is easy to 
discover the peculiar and superior qualities of 
Greek taste. These have the most elegant 
forms, being of that flat, bowl-like pattern 
which the best modern art is proud to imitate. 
They were ornamented with an endless variety 
of designs, some in color and some in relief- 
vines and fruits and figures of animals and 
birds. The materials in most common use 
were terra-cotta and bronze, but the rich had 
their lamps of silver and sometimes of gold. 
They were designed for hanging or standing, 
and for the latter use were supported by can- 
delabra of the slenderest and most beautiful 
styles. These were set by the couches in the 
andronitis, and here reclined the Greek in the 
evening and read. Near by stood the library, 
with its tiers of pigeon-holes, into which were 
inserted the cylindrical cases containing the 
rolls of manuscript. 

The material used in writing was prepared 
papyrus brought from Egypt. Upon thb the 
poem or disquisition of the philosopher was 
carefully copied by a scnbe. The Greek 
manuscripts were generally executed with 
great care and exquisite finish as to neatness 
and accuracy. In the house of a prominent 
and influential man a small library of favorite 
authors might always be expected. In the 
age of the Macedonian ascendency, however, 
the library became a public rather than a 
private enterprise ; and the example of Ales* 
ander in founding in Egypt and elsewhere 
vast collections of books was emulated by 
nearly all the great men of subsequent times. 
Book collectors were common in Greece, and 
the possession of rare or exquisite rolls was in 
many a rage, as in modem times. Of this 



aort were the poet Euripides and the philoeo- 
pher Aristotle, both of whom distinguished 
themselves by accumulating large libraries of 
valuable and rare works. 

Other connoisseurs there were who turned 
iheir energies to the collection of articles of a 
non-literary character. Old things of quaint 
device and singular pattern were eagerly 
sought after by the dilettanti and hunters of 
bric-a-brac, just as the relics and fashions of 
the fourteenth century are now pursued by 
the fanciers of what is valuable for being out 
of date. Indeed, this taste for the rare and 
curious was as keen in the Greeks as in any 
of the monomaniacs of our day. The lyre of 
Orpheus was hunted as eagerly as the wood 
of the True Cross is now sought by those 
who believe in its virtues.' One Greek carved 
an ivory chariot and four horses of such stu- 
pendous proportions that the whole could 
be covered by the wings of a house-fly, and 
another executed two verses of Homer on a 
grain of sesame I Art becomes ingenuity in 

The care of the Greek household was 
largely intrusted to the slaves. These were 
owned by all fSunilies except the poorest 
The morality of the institution was never 
questioned even by the philosophers. With 
them human freedom meant freedom for the 
Greek. ITot even the author of the AilantiB 
•eems ever to have troubled himself about the 
existence of slavery in hb own country. The 
slaves were all barbarians, either taken in 
battle or purchased in the market He 
who went to war with a Greek did it with 
a knowledge that he was running the risk 
of perpetual servitude with the chances 
greatly against him. Still, however, the con- 
dition he would be thus exposed to was &r 
more tolerable than in any other ancient state. 

The slave of the Greek, though subject 
to his master, was not as a rule treated with 

severity. He might marry and have a house- 
hold of his own. In sickness and old age he 
was released from toil, and cared for with de- 
cency if not with tenderness. Ties of friend- 
ship and even of intimacy were not infre- 
quently contracted between slave and master 
which survived all vicissitude and ended only 
with life. Albeit the condition of the Helota 
in Sparta — a subject race belonging to the 
soil and transferred with it as serfs — ^was an 
estate totally different from common chattel 
slavery as it presented itself in Athens and 
the other cities of Central Greece. 

The slave-class in Attica was very numer- 
ous. In a population of five hundred and 
fifty thousand souls, fully four hundred thou- 
sand were slaves — ^being in the ratio of three 
to one of the free citizenship. Thb enormous 
element of population was distributed, as we 
have already seen, into the houses of the free 
Greeks and into the factories, quarries, mines, 
and indeed in all places where ** naked human 
strength" was the thing required. In the 
house of any well-to-do Greek citizen a reti- 
nue of about twenty slaves, male and female, 
was required for the service. Upon them was 
devolved the entire labor, though not the su- 
perintendence, of the establishment In the 
gynceconitis the mistress of the house and her 
daughters sat among the domestics and super- 
vised and directed in all that was done. The 
householder meanwhile ordered his division of 
the servants to their various tasks, and then 
went to the market-place to talk politics and 
discuss the management of the war. There 
is little doubt that the institution of slavery 
among the Greeks was thus the blind com- 
plement of that factious democracy which, 
uncurbed by useful tasks of labor, inserted its 
idle talons in the breast of the state and tore 
out her vitals. — Such were the manners and 
institutions of the Hellenes in the timet of 
their power and renown. 



Chapter XL.— Religion. 

ARI£F sketch of the 


religion of the Greeks, 
considered apart from 
their system of mythol- 
ogy, will be appropriate 
before the traditions and 
civil history of the race 
wte presented. When we <^nsider the moral 
dvation of the Olympian hierarchy there is 
not much to admire. The gods who dwelt on 
that sublime height were of the same sort 
with the men who dwelt at its base. '' Like 
men like gods," might well apply to the Greek 
fiunily, whether terrestrial or celestial. There 
is not much wonder, therefore, that the for- 
mer should not greatly respect the latter, 
since they saw them as beings of like passions 
with themselves. 

Consulting the literature of the Greeks 
from Homer to Aristophanes one might well 
conclude that the Hellenes were a people de- 
void not only of the genuine religious instiuct 
but even of a decent respect for their deities. 
Such, however, would be far from a true con- 
clusion. Perhaps in many instances the fan- 
tastic legends of tradition were brushed aside 
by the lucid intelligence and skeptical dispo- 
sition of the Greeks, but behind the fiction 
the substance of the thing remained in the 
imagination of the people : and the substance 
was adored with a sincere veneration. 

The beings, then, whom the Greeks wor- 
shiped were r^arded as the guardians of 
mankind and the avengers of evil. To them 
belonged the reward of virtue and the pun- 
ishment of crime. They hasted not in their 
work, but their work was sure. They ob- 
served the minds and hearts of men, honored 
the upright, regarded the faithful, heard the 
voice of supplication. This was the ground- 
faith of the Greek, whether philosopher or 
peasant Nor does it appear that the most 
skeptical spirit ever wholly shook it ofi*. Soc- 
rates himself was in the habit of prayer, and 
disdained not to consult an oracle. 

There was thus in the ofttimes fKvolous 
nature of the Greek a sincere vein of piety. 
His earliest efforts in art were permeated with 
devotion. Homer's heroes believe most im- 
plicitly in the gods— pray to them, fear them. 
The Grecian states, taking up the theme, de- 
nounce impiety. He whose teachings seem 
dangerous, or whose life is sacrilegious, is 
banished or put to death. The memory of 
the impious is execrated. All this shows a 
deep-seated, though often misdirected, vein 
of religious sentiment in the people. 

All the principal acts in the drama of 
Greek life were introduced with religious 
ceremony. The man of the house was the 
priest He needed no other. He said his 
own prayers. He made his own offerings for 
himself and his ffunily. When he prayed to 
the gods of the air he stood with upturned 
fiM» and held his hands aloft. If he suppli- 
cated the deities of the deep, his hands were 
stretched to the sea. The birth of the child, 
the betrothal, the marriage, the funeral — all 
the chief events in the life of the household — 
were sanctioned with some religious rite. 

As early as the days of Homer the Greeks 
raised the altar of sacrifice. Upon this the 
worshiper offered his gifb and victims. Of 
things without life those most brought to the 
sacrificial fire were fruit and cakes, oil and 
wine, milk and honey. In offering living 
victims the best of the flock or herd was 
selected, and sometimes, as in the case of the 
hecatomb, as many as a hundred animals were 
slain at once. Not all of the creature offeted, 
but only certain parts were burned in the 
fire; the remainder was eaten by the wor- 
shipers and the priests; Even in the shed- 
ding of blood the aesthetic taste of the Greek 
appeared, for the beast to be offered was 
wreathed as to his head and boms with a gar- 
land of flowers. The neck of the animal was 
sprinkled with salt and consecrated barley, 
and then the knife let out the creature's life. 

As already said, every free Greek — and 



every Greek was free — could act as hb own 
priest. The introduction, therefore, of a class 
of priests was merely a matter of preference 
and division of labor. It was rather in con- 
nection with certain sacred places, seats of the 
gods, oracles, etc., that the services of a regu- 
lar priesthood seemed to be demanded. In 
the great temples, also, groups of priests were 
a necessity of the service ; but they gathered 
about the shrine, not by hereditary right or 
by appointment of a superior hierarchy, but 
simply by that natural selection which, work- 
ing among men, sends some to one vocation 
and some to another. The rank and rights 
of citizenship were no more sacrificed by the 
assumption of priestly duties than by the 
doctor in treating a patient or the lawyer in 
pleading a cause. 

There is no doubt, however, that the 
priests, having once assumed the sacred office, 
acquired thereby a certain dignity and honor. 
They were respected and venerated by all 
classes. The popular imagination associated 
them with the holy rites which they cele- 
brated, with the solemn temple where they 
lived, and even with the high gods whom 
they served. They thus acquired a great 
reputation for sanctity, and a consequent in- 
fluence over the minds of the people. Nor 
was their reputation less distinguished for the 
learning which they claimed by tradition and 
oracular response. They were well acquainted 
with the old unwritten laws and venerated 
customs of the Greeks, and thus became a 
conservative force in the state — a force not 
without a salutary influence on the distract- 
ing and revolutionary tendencies of such a 

Among the Greeks the belief in prophecy 
was very general ; and here again freedom 
bad her way, for any one might be a prophet 
The gods were no respecters of persons. The 
voice of the deity might be heard by any one 
as well as by a priest. If the latter was more 
frequently in communion with the supernal 
powers, it was only because he dwelt near 
some shrine or sacred haunt which the god 
delighted to frequent. The signs by which in 
earth or sea or sky the deities made known 
their will were not of private interpretation ; 

and so the many rather than the few heard 
and recognized the voices from on high. 

But in the case of the oracles the divine 
responses were delivered by the priests. The 
inquiries of those who would Ic^m the mys- 
teries of the future and of fate were borne to 
the inner place by priestly hands and sub- 
mitted to the god for answer. Such was the 
usi^e at Dodona, in Epirus, the most ancient 
oracle of Zeus. In the rustling of the oak 
leaves were heard the breathings of that great 
Immortal who was held to be the first among 
the powers of heaven ; but the noise in the 
oaks was unintelligible save to the sacred per- 
sons who were by holy life and residence in 
the groves acquainted with the meaning of 
the mysterious messages. Such also was the 
method of obtaining responses at the still 
more famous shrine of the prophetic Apollo, 
at Delphi. This oracle was the most cele* 
brated in Greece, perhaps in the world. In 
the classical age the greatest intellects recog- 
nized the validity of the Delphic responses, 
and the weightiest aflairs of state hung breath* 
less until the answer was delivered. 

The spot chosen by Apollo for his favorite 
haunt was a wild ravine at the foot of Par- 
nassus. The scene was grand and solitary. 
Only the murmur of a brook broke the im- 
pressive silence. On either hand rose ver- 
tical walls of rock. Here in this gorge the 
god of light and poesy and song had slain the 
Python, the great dragon of darkness and 
barbarism. The Castalian fountain sprang 
from the spot, and the Muses made it their 
home. Here from a cleft in the rock issued 
that intoxicating vapor which benumbed the 
senses of man and brought him into commun- 
ion with the deity. The tongue of the intoxi- 
cated became the oracle of the god. Around 
the sacred spot holy men gathered to muse 
and pray. Here houses were built. Here a 
shrine was erected for the deity. Here rose 
the holy city of Delphi, whose fame as the 
seat of divine inspiration spread first through* 
out all Greece and then to the ends of the 
civilized world. 

He who would inquire of Apollo came 
bringing gifts. Something precious must be 
brought in recompense for prophecy. Treas- 


urea of gold and silver and Bculpture and 
painting were cast in profiimon into the divine 
thes&nruB, until the shrine became rich beyond 
egtimate. In times of turbulence and war 
the eyes of the irreligious were cast longingly 
towards the accumulated treaHuree in the 
house of Apollo, and more than once the 
profane hand of expediency was laid upon 

The Delphic responses were obtained 
through the lipa of a priestess called the 
Pythia. She was chosen from the women of 
Delphi, and was especially consecrated to her 

verse, but in later times the priests, grown 
less careful, gave back the reply in prose. 

In these conditions were laid the founda- 
tions of the priestly lore which was cultivated 
at Delphi. It was the business of the college 
to know the actual state of affiiirs, not only 
in Greece, but, as far as practicable, in all the 
surrounding nations. By such information 
the priests could know, and did know, before- 
hand the kind of inquiries which would arise 
out of the political and social conditions of the 
country. They accordingly busied themeelves 
in framing and answering supposititious que» 


■acred office. Once every month she purified 
herself by fasting and ablutions. She chewed 
laurel leaves, bathed in and drank from the 
Castalian spring. Then she went into that 
part of the temple where the fissure in the 
native rock still gave forth its vapor. She 
seated herself on the tripo<l, and was' soon in- 
toxicated with the gas. Then she fell down 
in a swoon. She uttered wild ejaculations in 
her delirium, and these were caught up by 
the attending priests and wrought into oracu- 
lar — generally ambiguous — resiponees to the 
inquiries which had been propounded. As a 
rule the answers were rendered in hexameter 

tions, and in this line of work acquired not a 
little skill. Id the ordinary affairs of politics 
and war they were very well prepared to give 
intelligent advice, or even to predict with ap- 
proximate certainty the natural course of 
events. When, however, it came to the 
actual domain of prophecy and to matters of 
which the priest could know no more than 
another, he had necessary recourse to fraud, 
and this he found in the constmction of am- 
biguous responses — couplets which could be 
made to read both ways in the light of the 
denouement. Thus Croesus was told that if 
he crossed the Halys he would destroy a great 



kingdom. Whose kiDgdomf His own, or 
that of CTaxaresf The former, aa it proved ; 
the latter, as it was hoped. Thua vas the 
credit of Apollo aud his priests maintained 
agunat the hazard of cuutingencf. 

There were, however, those among the 
aritty Greeks who &thomed and derided the 
double, utterances of Delphi. The comic 
poets found the Apollonian ambiguity a 
precious morsel. They imitated the style of 
the confused priest, and made him the butt 
of pro&ne mirth. Aiistophanes introduces 

leveled against them, the Delpbio priesthood 
held their own for many centuries, and did 
not perceptibly wane in their influence over 
the public mind until after the establisbroeDt 
of the Roman Empire. 

Of scarcely leas importance than the ora- 
cles were the MYErrEROs of the Greeks. These 
were rites celebrated in secret orders, and in- 
tended to gradfy a higher grade of religious 
Bspiraljons than could be satisfied by tbi 
popular faith. The orders were open only to 
those who could establish by satis&ctory proo& 

the leather-seller Cleon and a sausage-maker, 
and the decision of a squabble between them 
is thus oracularly rendered: 
** HoreoTer, when the eagle in his pride. 
With crooked talons and a leathern hide, 
Bhall seize the black and blood-devouring analce,' 
Theo shall the woeful tan-pits quail and quake; 
And mighty Zeus shall give command and place 
To mortals of the sausage-selling race: 
Unless \bej choose, contiutuug as before. 
To sell their sausages for evermore." 

Hie satire was all the keener for being ia 
the exact vein of the Delphic utterances. 
But despite the sharp darts that were thus 

' Meaning a lautagel 

the previous rectitude and purity o( &ai 
lives. To such the promise of a calmer and 
more elevated frame of mind, a deeper hopd 
of present peace and future immortality, was 
held forth on condition of entering the my» 
teries. Every pure Greek might aspire to 
membership in one of the sacred ordem 
Even women were admitted with tlie men to 
equal participancy in the new life of hdineas 
and consecration. 

To attain the highest rank in one of tbe 
mysteries, the candidate bad to pan three de- 
grees. He was first initiated; then, after a 
season of probation, advanced to a second do- 



gree; and finally admitted to the third or 
highest rank, in which he was enrolled with the 
tfopto^ or '' beholders" — for suoh were allowed 
to behold the unveiled myths of the national 

The two principal mysteries of Grreeoe 
were those celebrated at Eleusis and at Sam- 
othrace. The latter place was a small island 
in the ^gean, on which from the earliest 
times a society had flourished whose aun was 
to interpret and illustrate the secrets of nature. 
What these secrets were, and by what cere- 
monies they were interpreted, have never 
been ascertained — so thick and carefully 
drawn was the curtain between the ^^ initiated " 
and the outer world of vulgar sense. More 
fiunous far were the mysteries known as 
Eleusinian. These were celebrated at the. 
city of Eleusisy in Attica. The society was in 
great repute, and many of the most distin- 
guished Athenians were proud to be num- 
bered among the epcpUB. Here, too, the 
secrecy was profound. Only 'thus much is 
known, that the mysteries of nature — es- 
pecially those appertaining to life — were 
wught to be unveiled to the senses and per- 
ceptions of men by the rites of the celebrants. 
The two deities honored within the veil were 
jDemeter, the great Earth-mother, and Diony- 
sus, the wine-god. Eleusis was the seat of 
one of the most celebrated of the Greek 
myths — ^that in which Demeter, after search- 
ing long by land and sea, at last learned that 
her lost daughter Persephone had been mar- 
ried to Hades, the dark specter of the under 
world, and that she was now his queen in the 
realms below. Here the mother procured her 
daughter's return to life and joy — at least for 
a season.^ The myth became the basb of the 
mystery which the initiated were to explain 
and illustrate with their rites — ^the mystery of 
the varying and beautiful processes of life. 

In the months of August and September 
of each year, after the harvests had been 

^ Persephone represents Life. In the summer 
she rejoices in leaf and bud and flower. But in 
winter Pluto takes her under the earth. She is 
seen no more. She is queen of the dark abodes 
in the Land of Gloom. With the sunshine of 
spring she returns and gladdens her mother, 

gathered, a period of twelve days was set 
apart for the celebration o^ the great feast 
known as the Elemima. Athens abandoned 
herself to the occasion. Strangers came from 
all parts of Greece to be present at the anni- 
versary. First the candidates and mitiates 
prepared themselves by bathing in the sea, 
by fasting and sacrifice. Then for five days 
ofierings were made to Demeter and Dionysus ; 
and on the sixth was the great procession, in 
which the ancient statue of Dionysus, gar- 
landed with flowers and bearing a torch in his 
hand, was brought with loud acclaim and 
laughter anjl song from Athens to Eleusis. It 
was always arranged that the procession should 
not reach its destination until nightfall. The 
image of the god was borne afler dark into a 
great building, where the mysteries were cele- 
brated, and here under the flickering glare of 
torches were begun the awful ceremonies 
which occupied the remainder of the festivaL 
Before the close of the mysterious proceedings 
Persephone was welcomed back to earth, and 
then hilarity and banqueting succeeded to the 
previous despondency and gloouL 

The proper feast of Dionysus was wilder 
and more extravagant in character than that 
of Demeter. As sometimes celebrated, it was 
an orgy in which the participants abandoned 
themselves to frantic excesses. At the Dumy^ 
sia in Athens it was regarded as a duty in 
those who took part in the exercises to become 
drunken. Every one crowned himself with 
ivy and flowers, and ofiered to him whom he 
met a cup of wine. The image of Bacchus 
was borne about in processions, and a wild 
crew of Satyrs, Bacchantes, and Pans rushed 
madly along, piping and shouting till the day 
became an uproar and the night hideous. 

The great local religious festival of the 
Athenians was called the Panathencea, It was 
celebrated every fourth year in honor of 
Pallas Athene, the patron goddess of the city 
On the return of the anniversary Athens wjir 
crowded with strangers. Hither came a 
throng of poets, musicians, artists, gym nasi*, 
showmen, mountebanks — every type of hn 
manity known to the world of the Greeks. Ji 
was a time of excitement, of competition, of tlu 
exhibition of skill in achievement and strength. 



The great day was the day of the proces- 
sion. Ill the uioriiiiig outside of the city the 
throngs gathered. Here the column was 
formed. At the head of the procession came 
a band of flute players and citharists. Then 
followed the Athenian soldiery — infantry and 
cavalry. Behiiid this division marched all 
those who had ever been crowned as victors 
in the public contests of the country. The 
next divisioQ was composed of priests, leading 

I burst of music was sounded from the instru- 
' ments, and then, in the sublime presence of 
the Protectress of the city, the votive gifts 
were laid and the sacrifices offered by the 

If the Greek mind, participating in these 
great festivals, could have been fathomed, 
there would have been revealed a double class 
of sentiments; the one lookingjoyfully upon 
life, and the other scanning death with appre- 


theanimals presently to be offered in t^acrifice. 
Next followed the old men of Athens, each 
carrying some costly gift to be offered to the 
goddess. Then came the woman's column of 
the procession — matrons and maidens chosen 
fur their beauty and reputation. In the 
midst they drew in a car the fi^plos, or em- 
broidered robe, with which the statue of Pal- 
las was to be clad at the end of the march. 

Through the beautiful streets of the city 
the procession made its way, pausing at the 
various shrines and altars, and then ascended 
the bill to the citadel. Before the temple a 

EAST.-Drawn by H. Vo«el. 

hension and dread.' There were exhibited in 
the different parts of the ceremonies the traces 
of these conflicting feelings, the one class 
tending to produce merriment and even rap- 

' No one can thoughtfully study the life of the 
Athenians without being eonatantty reminded of 
the Parisians of the last and present centuries. 
Athena was the Paris of antiquity, and Paris is 
the Athens of the modern world. There are to 
be seen in both peoples the same qualities of na- 
ture — that same excitability of temper, in which 
are strangely mingled the opposites of heroism 
and weakness, of exceaaive Joyousneas and deep 
gloom, of hope and despair. 



.tore under the beautiful aspects of the world, 
and the other class tendmg to gloom and de- 
spondency under the shadow of the coming 
doom! To the Greek, Life meant every 
thing of happiness which the most exuberant 
fancy could depict, and Death meant what 
Homer and the heroes believed it to be, a 
dreary and joyless existence beyond the inky 

In those matters which the ancients desig- 
nated by the general name of piety the Greeks 
were worthy to be commended. Suffering 
excited their sympathy. Sorrow called for 
kindred tears. To the dead were due the 
sacred rites of sepulture. Even the passing 
stranger should, for humanity's sake, sprinkle 
a few handfuls of earth on the unburied corse 
exposed by the way. The atrocious spite of 
the Orientals in pursuing the lifeless body of 
the foe with insult and mutilation was ab- 
horred by the sensitive Greeks, who saw in the 
lifeless frame only the sad relic of mortality. 
Only in the highest heat of battle was any 
indignity offered to the dead by the humane 
soldier of Hellas. 

When a Greek fell into his last slumber, 
the friends immediately composed the body 
and laid upon the mouth the ferriage-fee for 
Charon. The corse was clad in white and 
laid upon a bier. Flowers were brought by 
the mourning friends, who put on badges of 
sorrow. Qn the morrow the corse was burned 
and the ashes committed to an urn. In 
the later times the horror known as earth 
burial became common, and finally prevailed 
over the former beautiful and cleanly method 
of purification by fire. 

After burial in the earth became the usual 
method of bestowing the dead, cemeteries were 
arranged outside the city walls. Sometimes 
there were single tombs here and there, where 
some distinguished person had been buried 
within his own premises. In other parts thei6 
were public burying-grounds, in which there 
was a vast aggregate of graves. Over each 
was raised a mound of earth, and on this 
were planted ivy and roses. The cofiin of the 
Greeks was an elongated ellipse, generally of 
terra-cotta, resembling somewhat the ''dish- 
cover" burial cases of the Chaldeans.' Over 
the grave was erected a memorial stone or 
monument, and on this was an inscription 
giving the name of the dead, an e&gy per^ 
haps of his person, a word of praise for his 
virtues, and an epigram composed for his mem* 
ory. The epitaphs of the Greeks were of the 
highest order q{ merit and originality ; nor 
was there about the grave any of those S3rm« 
bols of lugubrious woe which since the Mid* 
die Age have added so much to the horrors 
of the city of the dead. 

In the coffin of the Greek, Superstition 
performed her usual little drama. The per- 
sonal ornaments worn by the deceased were 
laid with his body — a pardonable weakness 
and mark of respect. But there were also 
vessels for fruit and oil — the drinking-cup, the 
cake of bread, the beverage for the departed. 
The articles thus put away with the dead for 
his use have risen for the edification of man? 
kind; out he to whom they were given in 
death — 

" Sleeps the sleep that knows not breaking." 

' See Book Second, p. 127* 


Chapter xli.— myth and tradition. 

TRUE interpretation of 
the mythe of the Greeks 
hu been one of the most 
difficult problems im- 
posed OD modem scbolar- 
ship. Longfellow tells a 
story how the infant 
Christ, having foi^tten the name of the letter 
aieph, and being informed by his teacher tbat 
it was aleph, suddenly startied his instructor 
with the question. " But, please good Babbi, 
what does aJeph mean f The question of the 
myth to us is, not so much Whai ii itt but. 
What doa it tnamf 

Many theories have been advanced to ex- 
plain the origin and true nature of the myths 
of antiquity. They are the peculiar property 
of the Aryan race. Among the Semitic n^ 
tions mythology did not, could not, flourish — 
this for reasons to be hereafter expired. 
But the Aryans were a people whose bruns 
teemed with myths. 

In the next place it should be observed that 
all branches of the Aiyan family had the 
tame myths, almost infinitely varied and in- 
flected, it is true, but yet at bottom the same. 
Just as the difierent languages of the Indo- 
European race are fundamentally identical, 
so the mythology of tliat race in all its mul- 
titudinous outbranchinga flows trom a common 
fountain and has the same identical substance. 
The myths of India, Greece, Italy, Germany, 
and Scandinavia difler not in material, but 
inly in development. The same stoiy runa 
from the valley of the Indus to Iceland, from 
the ftvzen ITorth to the waters of the southern 

But of all the mythologies no other was so 
highly developed as that of Greece. 'Hie 
same ezubenmce which characterized the 
other elements of Greek life seemis to have 
^ven a double impulse to the myths of 
Hellas. Both in number and completendss 
they far surpass the fictions of any of the 
sister peoples of the ancient world. 

In tlie firet place it may be well^to aketoli 
again what may be called the perwmui of 
Grecian mythology. In the beginning was 
Chaos. C3iaos wedded Nioht. From them 
sprang the H&aven and the Eabth, The 
Heaven was Urantb; the Earth, Qxa., 
Uranus succeeded Chaos in the government 
of the universe. Then was bom CB0N08. 
Cronus had Uranus, the Heaven, for Ui 
&ther, and Giea, the Earth, for his mother. 
Time was bom of the Heaven and the Earth. 
Gfea hod other children, bom perhaps o£ 
Chaos. These were the Cyclopes and Bbontb 
and Stebope. Broute and Sterope wereTbun* 
der and Lightning. These chaotic ofispring 
were hurled by Uranus into Tartarus; but 
Gfea was in pam for the banishment of her 
children. She persuaded Cronos and the 
other children of Uranus to mutiny agtunst 
him. He was seized by tbem, mutilated, de- 
throned ; and Cronos, the eldest of the sons, 
took the throne of the &ther. Time usurped 
the dominion of Heaven. 

Cronos wedded Rhea, another daughter of 
Uranus and Qtea. Bhea was the Earth.' Of 
Time and Earth were bom the days. But 
Time swallowed his offipring as soon as they 
were bom, and Rhea was in anguish for her 
children. About to be delivered of Zeus, she 
gave her lord a stone, and. he swallowed that 
instead of the child. Zeus inherited the 
heavens, and became first among gods and 
men. He was the Blue Bky. He was the 
Light Though the Days perished he was 
immortal. — Such is the first span from Chaos 
to Zeus — from Confusion to Light and Order. 

Zeus enthroned delivered the Cyclopes 
from their dungeon. In return they gava 
him back Bronte, the Thunderbolt. With 
this he warred agunst the Titahs. In the war 
he was aided by ForethoughL Forethought 
was PEOMETHEim ; but Prometheus filched fire 
from heaven and kindled it for men below. 

■ Bbea — the Greek «ra, by 
r— Lotdn terra, earth. 

of tha 


For this ms Forethought seized and bonod to 
the rugged olifb of Caucasus to suffer unend- 
ing tortures. Afterwards Zens and his two 
brothen, Hases and Poseidoii, drew lots for 
thfl diflbrent parts of the univeTse. The 
Borer^nty of heaven fell to ZeuaJ the sea, 
to Poseidon ; and the world below to Hades. 
Zeus was thus established at the head of 
the Greek pantbeon. He took for his t^uee 
his sister Hera,' daughter of Cronos and 
Rhea. A. Dumerous divine progeny sprang 
ap to the Father of gods and men. His 
aleven children, constituting with himself the 
Olympian hierarchy, or " twelve gods," were 
Leto and her two children, Apollo and Ab- 


Hestia, Deueteb, Aphbodfte, and Hera, 
who is sometimes reckoned as the daughter 
rather than the sister of Zeus. These gods held 
their court oa Olympus, as the two suboi> 
dinatfl courts of Poseidon and Hades were 
held reepectavely in the sea and the under- 
world of darkness. — It will be appropriate to 
notice briefly the power and province ascribed 
by the Greek imagination to each of these 
gods and goddesses. 

Zeus was the chief deity of the Hellenic 
race. He was subject to nothing but Fate. 
The Greeks believed is an ;^bsolute Necessity 
which held the universe in its clutches. To 
this all men and gods must bow in submisaion. 
Zeus was constrained by the Absolute. Other- 
wise he was supreme. He did his will. He 
established his seat on Olympus, and from 
that cloudy summit ruled the worid. In final 
causation every thing, whether good or bad, 
flowed from him. The destiny of all mortals, 
and in some sen^e of all immortals, was di- 
rected by his nod. He took for his wife 
Metis, by whom he became the &ther of 
Athena; then Theuib, who was the mother 
of the HoR£ and the ParcjB — the Hours and 

' It will be well in this connection to give once 
for all the latin and Greek equivalents for the 
names of the priitcipal deities — thus; Onrano^ 
Utanus; Cronos— Saturn ; Zeus=Jiipltflr,or Jove; 
Hades=Pluto; Poseidon =Neptnae ; Hera=Jnno; 
A poUon= Apollo ; Artemb— Diana; LetO=Latona; 
Ares^Mars ; HenDes= Mercury ; Athena^Ml- 
nerva; Hepheestus— Vulcan ; Heetia=s Vesta ; Do- 
iiieter=-Cere8; AphivHiite^Venus. 
N— Vol I- 11 

the Fates ; then Eubtmohb, of whom were bom 
the Graces; then HEffriA and Mnbuosyhx, 
whose children were Pebbephoite and the 
MusEa ; then Lbto, who bore him Apollo and 
Asteuib; and then Juno, who became the 
mother of Aseb, Hebe, and Heph^stds. So 
the king of the gods took to himself tha 
epithet " Olympian." He sat on his throne 
and hurled the thunderbolt To him was 
erected the shrine among the oaks of Dodona, 
and afterwards the splendid temple at Olym- 
pia, the latter containing the 

chryselephantine statue of the god done l^ 

Hera was regarded by the Greeks as tha 
queen of heaven. She bore, in some sense^ 
the same relation to women as Zeus did to 
men. She was the patronees of marriage^ 
and under the epithet of EUOofia presided 
over the birth of mortals. In the Homerie 
legends she is represented as the least amiable 
of the divinitiee— jealous and petulant to tha 
extent of keeping the other Olympians, and 
especially Zeos, in perpetual trouble. She 
even organized a conspiracv with Poeeidon 
against her husband to dethrone and imprison 


him ; but he, diacovering the plot, seized her 
and hung her id the clouds. She was haughty 
Bad imperious. In the Trojan war she 

> or Biu.- villa LudoTld. 

CQKiased the cause of tiie Greeks, and was 
regarded as the chief source of tlie woes of 
Hium. Her principal seats of worship were 
at ArgoB, SamoB, and Sparta. At the first- 
aamed place was buOt her finest temple, and 
in this was her colossal statue done in ivory 
and gold. 

When the lota were cast for the sovereignty 
of the universe the sea fell to Poseidon, son 
of Cronos and Bhea. He was not especially 
represented as inhabiting the waters, but 
rather as having dominion over the move- 
ments of the great deep. His vicegerent, 
Neb&ob, lived in the sea, just as Heuos dwelt 
in the sun, whUe the destiny of the orb was 
controlled by Ph<ebu8 Apollo. The meaning 
of the name of Poseidon is not cert^nly 
known, and from that source nothing can be 
gathered of his nature. He is represented in 
the Iliad and Odyssey as equal tn dignity to 
Zeus, but inferior to him in power. To Po- 
seidon was attribut«d a part of tlie work of 
He was said to be the maker of 

the horse. He was called the "Keeper of 
the Earth," and the "World-Shaker" — titles 
indicative of almost Jovine majesty. In one 
legend he disputes the sovereignty of Greek 
cities with Athena, Hera, and Helios. As a 
rule he was loyal to Zeus, cheerfully conced- 
ing to him the supreme dominion ; but in one 
instance, at the instigation of Hera and 
Athena, he conspired to dethrone the king of 
the gods, but the plot was revealed by Thetis; 
and the hundred-handed BRUBEua was placed 
beside the throne to guard it against rebel- 

Poseidon had his palace in the deep waters 
near JEgfe, on the shores of Eubcea. Here 
he kept his golden-maned horses, which bore 
bim swiftly in a sea-chariot over the surface 
of the deep. He controlled the ocean in 
time of storms, lest it should sweep the land 
from its foundations and overwhelm the world. 
Unlike Zeus, Poseidon was subject to other 
wilb besides his own. He was sometimes com- 
pelled by the authority of his brother to do 
great works for men. He it was who, to- 
gether with Heracles, was obliged by the 
council of the immortals to rebuild the walls 
of Troy for Laomedon, who refused to pay 
him for his services. The god, incensed at 

F04BIDOH.— Miueo ChlkiotDond. 

this treatment, espoused the cause of Agamem> 
non and Menelaiis, and helped to wreak venge* 
ance on the Trojans. But the most famous 
legend of Poseidon is that in which he con- 
tends with Athena for the naming of Athens. 
Zeus decreed that the name should be ([iven 



to that deity who conferred the greatest boon 
on the human fiEunily. Poseidon created and 
gave the horse. Athena offered afi her gift 
the olive-tree. The award was made to 
Athena, for the olive, symbol of peace, was 
better than the horse that men ride to battle. 
Poseidon had for his wife the goddess Amphi- 
TBITE — ^that jealous Nereid who threw the 
herbs into the well of Scylla and thus trans- 
formed her rival into a monster. 

To Hades, brother of Zeus and Poseidon, 
fell the dominion of the unseen abodes under 
the earth, the dreary and desolate kingdom 
of darkness. The world was flat Its surface 
belonged to the cheerful gods of light. All 
the gloomy realm below was the realm of the 
somber Hades. He was in some sort the an- 
tagonist of light and life. He seized Per- 
sephone, the fair daughter of Demeter, and 
drew her down from the upper world to be 
nis wife in the abodes of gloom. Then the 
bereft mother Earth went about all winter 
long searching for her daughter Life^ The 
gloomy Hades agreed to give her up for half 
the year, but the other half she should dwell 
with him, and the Earth should be desolate 
in her absence. 

Hades had charge of the mineral treasures 
of the earth. They lay hidden in dark caves, 
and were his especial property. And more 
especially since death is a mystery, since it is 
the coming of darkness, since man goes away 
into the shadows and is seen no more — to 
Hades was assigned the dominion of the dead. 
Fhey went to him. His kingdom was the 
place of the unseen spirits. There, in his 
sunless abode, must the banished sons of mor- 
tality find their place. Hence was Hades 
called Pdydegmoniy the Receiver of Many — ^for 
he received many into his cheerless kingdom. 
Sometimes Hades was called the Zeus of the 
Nether World. Hb authority was absolute in 

> Persephone is close to Eve. Eve means Li/et 
and should have been so rendered, and would 
have been but for the blundering of the English 
translators. The Seventy very properly rendered 
the Hebrew word by 2(>g— "life;" but King 
James's scholars feJ back unon a corrupt imitation 
of the spelling of the Hebrew word, and the sense 
was lost The woman was called Life; for she 
was the mother of all living. 

his place of darkness. There he had his pal- 
ace; and by the portals sat the grim dogs 
Orthros and Cerberus, the latter with his 
three terrible heads, guarding the approach 
to the abode of his master. 

Athene was the daughter of Zeus. She 
sprang from his forehead cleft by the axe of 
Hephsestus. That is, the Dawn sprang from 
the forehead of Light split by the Sunt 
Athene is sometimes called TrUogenia, mean« 
ing Daughter of the Sky. She was the god- 
dess of the Greek people just waking fit)m 
the night of unconscious barbarism to the 
light of civilization. Her birds were the owl 
and the cock ; the one sounding out the nighti 
and the other trumpeting the clarion of day< 
break. To wake from slumber is to know. 
To know is to be wise. Hence, Athene was 
the goddess of wisdom. She knew the mind 
of Zeus. She is the* Virgin Divinity of the 
Greek race. She is serene and high. Only 
once does she act unworthily. She it was 
who dressed Pandora when she was sent to 
Epimetheus bearing the fiital casket which 
contained the woes of the world. But she 
gave the olive-tree to Athens and received the 
name of the city. 

Demeter was the Earth and the mother of 
Life — that beautiful Persephone whom the 
unfeeling Zeus gave to Hades. When the 
unsuspecting maiden was gathering flowers at 
Enna, the ground suddenly opened, and 
Hades, riding in a chariot drawn by coal« 
black horses, seized her and bore her down 
below. Demeter put on a mouming-robe« 
and wandered with a torch in her hand, 
searching for her daughter. She met Hecate^ 
who told her that she had heard the cry of 
Persephone when Hades seized hen The 
mother then went to Helios, the Sun, and he 
told her the story of her daughter's doom. 
Then she wandered to Olympus, refusing to 
be comforted. Nor did the Earth any more 
yield her increase of fruits or flowers until 
Hermes was sent below to bring back Life 
fit)m the darkness. 

Hestia was the eldest daughter of Cronos 
and Rhea. She was the goddess of that sacred 
fire that burned on the hearthstone of home. 
The primitive theory of society was that all 



men are enemies until reconciled. The hearth 
was the place of reconciliation; the fire was 
its symbol; Hestia, the divinity by whose 
agency it was accomplished. Of her but few 
myths are recorded. One recites that she was 
solicited to become the wife of Poseidon, but 
refused. The influence of this goddess, how* 
ever, was as deeply felt as that of any other 
of the Olympians. Her worship required the 
performance of actual religious duties. Her. 
altar became the conservator of home. He 
who acted treacherously, who broke the peace, 
who violated the Jaws of humanity, could 
never be a troe votary of Hestia. She re- 
quired truth in the inner parts, purity of 
heart, uprightneas of action, sincerity of pur- 
pose and nt life. 

The peace of the domestic hearthstone was 
not enough. Each town had its Prytan^um, 
where a sacred fire was kept burning on a 
public hearth; and if at any time it was 
extinguished, it must be rekindled either by 
rubbing together pieces of wood or with a 
burning-glass; for a common fire was profane. 
Around this holy flame kindled from above 
the prytanes, or elders of the city, assembled 
and debated in homelike spirit the peace and 
welfare of the state. Likewise — so recounted 
the myth — there was in the center of the 
earth a hearthstone on which the fire was kept 
forever burning — the hearth or Prytaneium of 
the whole world. 

Ares, son of Zeus and Hera, was the god 
of the tumult of war. He was not, as is 
popularly believed, the deity who gave direc- 
tion and decided the issues of war, but rather 
the god of din, of uproar, of slaughter. He 
had little steadiness of character or purpose. 
He changed from side to side. He was any 
thiAg for a continuance of the noise and con* 
fusion of battle. He was an enemy of men, 
sending among them violence, plagues, fam- 
ines. He was of gigantic stature, and when 
fidlen his body measured rods on the earth. 
He might be wounded, and in that event hb 
roaring was like the groans of ten thousand. 
He was called the " Grinder," for he ground 
into dust the hopes and pleasures of mankind. 
He gained Aphrodite for his wife, but when 
she was seen to prefer Adonis, Ares converted 

himself into a wild boar and wounded his 
rival to death. Having slain Halirrhothius, 
son of Poseidon, Ares was tried before the 
Olympian council, and being acquitted, was 
lionored with the name of the great court of 
Athens, the Areopagus, which held its sitdngs 
on the Hill of Mars. 

Aphrodite sprang from the foam of the sea. 
One legend of her origin made her the daug^ 
ter of Uranus and Hemera, the Heaven and 
the Day. In another — and this is the story 
of the Hiad — she is called the daughter of 
Zeus and Dione. She was the goddess of 
beauty, of love, of passion. She was ever 
attended by the Horse and the Charites. In 
honor of her origin she was given the names 
of Enalia and Pantia. Sometimes, as the 
goddess of pure afl*ection, she was called 
Urania. The principal legend of this divin^ 
ity is that which recites the award to her of 
the prize of beauty. At the marriage of 
Peleus and Thetis, Ens, the god of Strife, 
threw down a golden apple with the inscrip- 
tion. To Hie mod BeatttifuL It was claimed by 
Hera, Athene, and Aphrodite. Zeus left the 
award to be made by Paris, the son of Priam, 
and by him the prize was given to Aphrodite. 
She gave him in return the most beautiful 
woman in Greece, Helen of Sparta, wife of 
Menelaus. And hence the Trojan war. 

Aphrodite had for her husband Hephsostus, 
but she preferred Adonis, who loved her not 
in return. Once she was beloved by Posei* 
don; once, by Ares. Her human lover was 
Anchises of Troy, by whom she became the 
mother of .£neas, the ancestor of the Bo- 
mans. The myths of Aphrodite are many 
and sometimes contradictory. Her charactei 
is that of vicissitude. She changes. Some*, 
times she is pure and tender; sometimes 
vehement and pasfflonate. In the Spartan 
temple she was represented as a victorious 
goddess, conquering rather than winning, 
subduing rather tlum sustaining the spirits of 
her votaries. 

Hephsestus was the presiding genius of the 
Olympian smithy. He was puny at birth, 
but powerful — as well as lame and ugly — 
when grown up. His delight was the fi>rge. 
Here he fiEudiioned thu weapons of the gods 



snd die heroes. . His career was hard and 
mglorious. His mother, Hera, was so dis- 
pleased with his ugliness that she would ban- 
ish him from Olympus. Afterwards he es- 
poused her cause in a quarrel with Zeus, and 
by him was hurled down into the island of 
Lemnos. He subseqently regained a measure 
of fiivor, but never rose to a dignity higher 
th ftn that of cupbearer to the gods. One of 
his myths is that when the armor of Achilles 
had been taken by Hector from the body of 
Patroclus, Hephsastus, at the prayer of The- 
tis, made for her son a new suit burnished 
till it flashed like the sun. His good fortune 
in winning Aphrodite for his wife was blasted 
by the wandering of her affections to Adonis. 

Apollo had nearly always the epithet of 
Phcsbus. He was the overpowering Bright- 
ness of the Sun. He did not, however, have 
his residence in the great orb of day, that 
being reserved for Helios. Phoebus was the 
■on of Zeus and Leto. His mother wandered 
through many lands until she came at last to 
Deloe, and promised that in retam for shelter 
the island should become famous as the birth- 
place of her son. Here Phoebus was bom ; 
and the pledge of the mother was fulfilled ; 
far from henceforth I>elos became one of the 
uaored places of the Hellenes.^ The island, 
9noe rocky and sterile, was covered with 
flowers and verdure. The nymphs came and 
wrappe the in&nt Apollo in a white robe. 
Themis fed him with nectar and ambrosia. 
FTe took a harp in his hand and declared 
^mself the revealer of the will of Zeus to 

As a god, Phoebus was the bringer of the 
light Light was the harbinger of knowl- 
edge. He became the patron of learning 
and art and song. It was the ushering in 
of the Beautiful, not only for Greece, but for 
all the world. Barbarism drew a cowl over 
his leaden eyes and slunk into a cavern. 
The morning of civilization arose with the 
tesplendent sun, drawn in Ihe car of Phoebus. 

'''The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece, 

Where burning Sappho loved and sung, 
■ Where grew the arts of war and peace, 
Where D^ot roee and Phahu* sprung." 

— Byron. 

Darkness shivered and died in the sweet dawn 
of poesy. The flash of beauty and the vio* 
tory of thought began in the luminous myth 
of Apollo. 

He had limbs, for strength and whiteness^ 

Like the war-maid Amazon's, 
And his eye shot forth the brightness 

Of the Oriental sun's. 
By his mighty side and shoulder 

Hung the quiver and its darts ; 
And the world has grown no older 

Since Apollo gave the arts! 

The great oracle of Phoebus was at Del^ 
phi — the most famous of all the shrines of 
the Hellenes. Here it was -that Apollo slew 
the Typhon, the terrible dragon of darkness 
that had so long kept the world in terror. 
Here it was that the inspiration of the gods, 
breathing from the crevice of the rocks, gave 
the Pythia her prophetic powers and made 
men acquainted with the future. Of all the 
worship known to the Greeks that of Apollo 
was most widely spread and influentiaL His 
voice, speaking through the oracle, not infre- 
quently changed the current of Hellenic his- 
tory. Under the shadow of his temple the 
Amphyctionic oouncQ of Ihe Greek states, 
the greatest and wisest body of the nation, 
held its meetings, as if to gain for their de- 
liberations the highest sanctions of wisdom 
and religion. 

Like unto Apollo was his sister, Artemis. 
She possessed in general the same powers and 
attributes with her brother. With her name, 
however, are associated fewer myths than with 
most of the other divinities. She took part 
in the affairs of men more as a friend than an 
enemy. She gave to Procris her hound and 
spear. She healed iEneas when he fell 
wounded before Troy. But she insisted that 
Iphigenia should be sacrificed, and was Iph 

Hermes, son of Zeus and Maia, began hil 
career by extemporizing a cithara from a toi^ 
toise shell. From this he proceeded to ihe 
theft of the cattle of Phoebus. Then he kin^ 
died fire by the fiiction of wood, and thus 
gave to the world the warmth of the cheerful 
flame : all this during the first day of his life 
Then followed the contest between himseU 
and Phoebus respecting the stolen herd, the 



trial of the cause in the court of Zeus, the 
placation of Apollo's temper by the device of 
music, the interchange of the lyre of Hermes 
for the wisdom of Phoebus, and to the treaty 
between the two deities — one of the most 
elaborate, interesting, and witty myths of the 

Such was the Olympian hierarchy. Be- 
aides the " twelve gods," however, there were 
many others believed in by the Hellenes. 
Such was Dionysus, the wine-god, to whom 
frequent reference has already been made. 
As to his parentage the myths are various, 
the most rational being that he was the son 
of Zeus and Semele, daughter of Cadmus, 
king of Thebes. She, tempted to her ruin, 
was visited by Zeus, and wafi destroyed by his 
lightnings; but Dionysus was bom in the 
midst of the thunderbolts. He was brought 
up in Naxos, and passed through many and 
grievous toils before coming to his fame. His 
principal legend is that which recounts the 
history of the introduction of the vine. 
Dionysus stood on a cliff by the sea. Some 
Tyrrhenians passing in a ship saw him and 
took him. They bound him with withes, but 
these were broken off. As they sailed away a 
stream of wine flowed over the deck of the 
vessel, and a vine clambered up the masts. 
In .the midst of the leaves hung bunches of 
luscious grapes. 

One of the most famous of the myths was 
that of Heracles. He was the son of Zeus 
and Alcmene. By his &ther the greatness of 
his physical strength wafi predicted. In his 
cradle, as he lay sleeping, two serpents coiled 
themselves around him; but on waking he 
clutched them by the throats and choked 
them to death. As he grew he became the 
abused servant of Eurystheus, grandson of 
Perseus, who by the craft of Juno was sub- 
stituted for Heracles in the kingdom. The 
latter was condemned for twelve years to toil 
for the benefit of man. His whole life was 
spent in performance of heavy tasks, too 
grievous to be undertaken by any other than 
this divine toiler. Twelve stupendous "la- 
bors" were imposed upon him, but neither did 
his patience fail nor his strength prove inade- 
quate to his tasks. He strangled the great 

lion that infested the Nemsean valley. He 
slew the huge, nine-headed Lemsean hydra. 
He captured the Arcadian stag that had 
golden horns and brazen feet, of surpassing 
swiftness and strength. He took the Eryman- 
thian boar, having chased him through the 
deep snow until exhausted he was caught in a 
snare. He cleansed the Augean stables, 
where three thousand oxen had been stabled 
for thirty years. To wash out the horrid ag- 
gregation the rivers Alpheus and Peneus were 
turned into the stalls, and the work was done 
in a single day. He destroyed the birds of 
Stamphalia, terrible creatures with claws and 
wings and beaks of brass, feeding upon the 
flesh of men. He captured the mad bull of 
Crete that Minos had neglected to sacrifice 
when sent by Poseidon. He carried away the 
wild mares of Diomedes that fed upon human 
beings, and brought them tamed to Mycense. 
He took away the girdle of Hippolyte, queen 
of the Amazons, which she had received as a 
gift from Ares. He seized the red oxen of 
G^ryones, guarded as they were by the giant 
Eurytion and the two-headed dog Orthrus. 
He obtained the golden apples of the Hes- 
perides, given by Bhea to Juno and protected 
by the dragon Ladon. Finally, he seized and 
carried to the upper world the three-headed 
dog Cerberus that stood guard at the portalf 
of Hades. In his further career he weni 
about doing good to men, in beating back the 
adverse forces of nature and subduing th^ 
monsters that infested the primeval worid. 

In tracing the course of Grecian mythology, 
it is quite impossible to tell precisely where 
the godlike ends and the heroic begina 
There is a point at which the deeds of thw 
actor become the exploits of a man^-exagger- 
ated doubtless beyond the range of human 
performance, but still essentially the exploits 
of a man. At that point the myth proper 
descends into a legend ; the element of the 
supernatural gradually disappears ; and tradi' 
tion begins to lay the foundation of history. 
But before entering the domain of what may 
be called the traditions and legends of Oreece 
as distinguished from her mythology proper— 
or so much of it as appertains to the lives 
and deeds of the gods — ^it will be appropriate 



lo add a few paragraphs on the Btgniflcatum 
of the Hellenic myths. What did they meant 
How did they originate? How did the gods 
of the Greeks become what they were in the 
imagination of the people? These questions 
are not to be answered with over-assurance of 
certainty, but with a modest caution and 

In the first place, then, the mythology of 
the Hellenic race should be regarded a System 
of Natural PhUosojJiy. It was an effort of the 
human mind to interpret Nature. Knowledge 
consists in a perception of cause. To be able 
to refer one fact to another as its antecedent 
and that to another, is the first step in natu- 
ral science, and indeed in any science. Na- 
ture has always presented herself to the mind 
as a mystery to be solved. Her ever-varjring 
and beautiful phenomena are precisely of a 
sort to fascinate the senses and challenge the 
reason of men. She has thus offered herself 
to all races, but her petition to be known has 
been felt as an ardent appeal by only a few 
peoples of vigorous intellect and active imag- 
ination. Of this sort were the Aryan races, 
who have all manifested a ke^n interest in 
the great mystery which at once evokes their 
admiration and awakens their curiosity. The 
Aryans, under favorable conditions, have 
always been a people of the liveliest sens0- 
perception. They have seen with keener ap- 
preciation the beautiful pictures of Nature, 
and heard with purer delight the rhythm of 
her melodies than have any other of the 
fSEunilies of mankind. 

Among these Aryan races — Indians, Per- 
sians, Modes, Italicans, Germans, Celts — the 
Greeks were preeminently the peo]^ of high- 
est intellectual power and liveliest imagina- 
tion. They were especially curious to krww — 
eager to hear, to see, to understand. Their 
senses were susceptible of the most vivid im- 
pressions. Their interest in the great pano- 
rama of Nature was unflagging. Imagination 
and reason were ever on the alert to explain 
the shifting scenery of the Visible world. 

So the Greeks began to put into language, 
to describe, to interpret the phenomena of 
earth and sky and sea. Here at the outset 
they were opposed with a serious obstacle. 

Nature in some parts of the world, as in 
Egypt and Chald^ea, displays herself in a suc- 
cession of orderly aspects. She varies but 
little. Day after day, through cloudless skies, 
the great sun travels the prescribed path to 
his western exit into darkness. Night after 
night the tremendous wheel of the silenl 
universe is revolved in solemn grandeur over^ 
head. There is little variation. Observation 
is stimulated by the regularity and steadiness 
of the phenomena, and the lines of causation 
from consequent to antecedent, unbroken by 
interferences or accident, are easily traced from 
step to step. But in Greece the exact op- 
posite of all this is true. Here, if anywhere 
in the world. Nature knows no law. The 
coasts of Hellas are bounded by a line of in* 
describable irregularity. The sea gnaws at 
the shore, and the shore thrusts out to sea. 
The surface of the country is set at all slopes 
and angles. Hills rise from the valleys, and 
mountains overtop the hills. Forests, glens, 
grottoes, vistas, fountains, sequestered spots, 
thickets of tangled vines, rocky chasms with 
the murmur of waters in the bottom, patches 
of the bluest sky seen through gnarled 
branches of hoary oaks,— every aspect of 
smile or firown which Nature can well assume, 
is here the expression of her face. She is 
whimsical, capricious. A flash of warm sun« 
shine transfigures the landscape, and then — 

Chill and murk is the n ighty blast 
Where Pindus' mountains rise. 

And angry skies are pouring fast 
The deluge of the skies. 

In the midst of this almost infinite com^ 
plexity the Greek mind stood confused. 
Nature here seemed without law. Her pro- 
cesses were everywhere broken and interrupted. 
The consequent was detached from the ante- 
cendent. The different parts of the natural 
world seemed to be under the dominion of 
individual forces. Unity was indiscoverable 
in the multiplex aspect of Nature. She 
seemed made up of antagonisms and conflicts. 
In her moods was the mingling of calm and 
storm, of light and darkness, of joy and sor- 
row. The interpretation of such a variable 
and capricious Fact as that with which the 
Greek found himself environed would of 



necessity be broken into parts, oonfnsed in 
details, contradictory in statement ' 

What, then, more particularly were the 
fieuits and phenomena which* the imagination 
and reason of the Greeks, and the ancestors 
of the Greeks, were called upon to explain ? 
They were the visible phenomena of the ex- 
ternal world. Here were, first of all, the 
three great facts of sky and earth and soa. 
Here, also, were the two principal orbs of 
heaven, the sun and the moon. Here, in the 
next place, and especially, were the attributes 
and efiects of those bodies — light, heat, dawn, 
twilight, day as one tact and night as another. 
Here were clouds floatiug overhead. Here 
were fountains bubbling from the earth. 
Here were the unseen but powerful winds. 
Here were the waves of the deep sea — ^the 
murmur of their music, the roar of their 
wrath. Here was the hot lightning, flashing 
through the vapor-burdened air of summer, 
and the deep roll of the thunder, shaking 
both earth and heaven. 

Of these things what explanation? The 
mind of primitive Arya stood before the prob- 
lem. It began descriptively. Thefint stage 
if mythology is simple description. The phe- 
nomena of Nature and her simpler processes 
were merely described. They were described 
as they would be by a people of a vigorous 
sense-perception and lively imagination. But 
there .was at the outset no impersonation — no 
ascription of active ea/uses to natural phenomena 
outside <f themselves. The facts and sequences 
of Nature were at the first merely expressed 
in such wonh as seemed to give the truest im- 
pression of tha thiugs described. That is to 
say, the primitive natural philosopher of the 
Aryan race spoke of Nature, described her as 
she appeared to hb senses. He said : The 
sun rises. He rises from the sea. The light 
comes from the east. The light is from the 
sun. The dawn precedes the day. Darkness 
flees before the dawn. Darkness goes under 
the world when day comes. The sun dries 
up the dew. The clouds give rain. The 
clouds are the creatures of the air. The sky 
is over all* The sky is the highest thing. 
The Aj thunders. The sky lightens. Fire 
is from the sun. Fire warms. Water 

quenches. The sea b troubled. Man is 
afraid. The powers are stronger than he. 
Underground is dark. Love is sweet. War 
crushes. All things go on and on. 

Such was the natural language of man 
attempting to depict and explain the things 
which he saw. It was merely the rudiments 
of a natural philosophy, which in a literary 
and enlightened age would erelong have be* 
come Seienee; but, being in a pre-literary and 
unenlightened age, it became Mythology. It 
only remains, then, to explain the process by 
which the rudiments of the 'primitive natural 
philosophy of the Aryan races were mytholo- 
gized — converted into myths. The explana- 
tion of this process is to be sought and found, 
whole and perfect, in the history and muta* 
tions of human speech. It is to the Science 
of Language that we must look for the inter* 
pretation of the metamorphoeb of the prim* 
itive philosophy of nature into myths. 

It must be understood that the ori^nal 
Aryan tribes of Bactria broke up and rolled 
away in migratory bands in several directions 
The tribes filled India, the Great Plateau of 
Iran, the shores of Asia Minor, the islands 
and mainland of Greece, Italy, Germany, 
Scandinavia, the whole of Europe. These 
peoples had an original language, which was 
spoken before the tribal separation. It tooa 
during the migraJHon and settlement of these na 
tions in distant parts that Nature beeame an d 
ject of study and description. But, while thit 
process was going on, while the Indians were 
becoming Indians and the Greeks Greeks, the 
languages of the nations about to be were 
undergoing rapid processes of growth and 
decay: growth — ^for the new objects which 
constantly appeared before a migratory and 
developing people, especially if those people 
were possessed of lively sensibilities, would 
constantly demand new names and new 
descriptions ; decay — for the transfer of place 
and scene and sentiment would with equal 
certainty remand large numbers of words and 
phrases, descriptive of things no longer seen 
and heard, to the ever-increaang list of obso- 
lete and obsolescent fragments which time and 
change were daily tossing into the waste4Mskel 
of human speech. 



Now» it is this waste-basket of human 
speech that contains the mythology of the an- 
cients. The words, phrases, and scraps of de- 
scription which were cast therein were, when 
so dropped among the cUbm, merely unfig- 
urative expressions for the things previously 
seen and heard. But it must be borne in 
mind that in a pre-literary age this mass of 
waste fragments of djring speech would for a 
long time be carried along with the migrating, 
and even by the settled, tribes, and that obso- 
lete and obsolescent words and phrases would 
continue to be heard on the tongues of people 
who, having no lexicon in which the original 
meanings of such words and phrases were 
crystallized, would use them in a new sense 
unknown to their &thers. It thus came to 
pass that the alphabet and rudimentary les- 
sons of the primitive natural philosophy, be- 
ing couched in an obsolescent phraseology, 
were gradually transformed into myths. The 
old word which had been merely a name or 
descriptive epithet became, when its meaning 
was lost and when that meaning was expressed 
by a new word coined in the fertile brain of 
invention, the name of a person rather than the 
name of a thing. And this is the sum and 
substance of the mythologizing process by 
which the merely descriptive phrases of ear!v 
science were transformed under a natural ie ^ 
of linguistic change into a new sense descrip- 
tive of imaginary Causes and Personal Agen- 
cies apart from the facts to be inti:rpreted. 
I^ b thus that the Science of Language, not 
by theory and speculation, but by the actual 
demonstration of truth, has revealed the true 
origin and nature of the myths of antiquity. 
It only remains to elucidate the subject with 
a few examples and illustrations caught almost 
at random from the language of mythology. 

The word teas meant originally the Uue 
Ay. It had no other signification. This 
meaning was not known to the Greeks them- 
selves. The true sense of the word has been 
discovered only in recent times, by an exam- 
ination of the cognate Sanskrit in which dyaus 
pUar (=teus pater in Greek) means simply 
father of the dey, the dyaus being the word 
for sky. Neither Socrates nor Plato ever 
dreamed of such a fact in their language. 

To them the word Zeus had issued from the 
prehistoric shadows as the name of the su- 
preme god of their race — ^nothing more, noth- 
ing less. But it is now clearly seen that 
sometime during the Hellenic migration the 
word zeus became mythologized — ^lost its old 
scientific meaning of sky, passed through the 
stage of sky-god^ and then, since the sky is the 
highest thing, became the name of the Father 
of gods and men, the supreme deity of the 
race. This simple method of illustration can 
be carried forward with entire satisfaction 
through the whole list of the gods and god- 
desses of Greece, the fictions thus unraveled 
being of the highest beauty in the light of 
the new interpretation. 

Thus, for instance, dew in the original 
Aryan speech was called procris. One of the 
names of the sun was eephalus. The child at 
early morning, beholding the dew-drops on 
the grass, might well wonder and grieve to 
see them disappear in the sunlight The par- 
ent would explain that eephalus had taken prO" 
cris away — ^had killed her with kisses. So the 
phrase would arise that eephalvs loved procris 
and devoured her. It is at first a poem in pri- 
mary science. But so soon as the original 
meanings of eephalus and procris have been 
supplanted by other words and the original 
words have become obsolescent, then the 
myth-making imagination, retaining the old 
phrase-poem, preserves it in the legend that 
the god Ceraalus, loving the maiden Procris, 
devoured her with kisscis. In the same way 
PhoBbus, the sun, pursues Daphne, the dawn, 
and gives her no rest from his fierce passion ; 
but she returns in the twilight of evening to 
watch with fiuthful tenderness beside the 
couch of her dying lord. The myth of Cro- 
nos devouring his oflopring means no more — 
whatever it may have meant to the Greek — 
than that time eats up the days and years as 
soon as they are bori. It is all a mutation 
of speech, beginning with an attempt to 
explain in plain language the phenomena of 
Nature, and ending by the giving to obsolete 
words of a new sense significant of a Cause 
rather than descriptive of a Fact It 
was thus that the wonderful, the beautiful 
fabric of Grecian mythology was built up un- 



coDBciously out of an attempt of the primitive 
Hellenes to fonnulate a system of natural 
philosophy, and out of the transformation of 
that system by the mythologizing processes 
of human speech. 

After the myth of Heracles, there is a 
gradual descent in the system of the Greeks 
to the plane of human possibility. Thus, 
though Pebseus is still the son of Zeus, he be- 
gins to appear as one of the mortals. He 
was brought up by King Polydectes, by whom 
he was sent to fetch the head of the gorgon 
Medusa. To save himself from being con- 
verted into stone on beholding the monster, 
Perseus employed the device of a mirror, and 
thus succeeded in cutting off Medusa's head. 
Finding Polydectes to have been treacherous, 
he converted him and his household into 
stone by displaying the head of the dead 
gorgon. After thb, being unwilling to return 
to Argos, of which he is the reputed founder, 
Perseus exchanged governments with King 
Megapenthes, and received for his kingdom 
Tiryns, in return for his own city of Argos. 

Of like character is the tradition of The- 
seus, the legendary hero of Attica. His 
parents were mortals, his &ther being JE^eus, 
king of Athens, and his mother the daughter 
of Pittheus, king of Troezena. His royal 
parentage was concealed from him until his 
maturity, when he returned to Athens and 
was about to be destroyed by Medea. He 
afterwards engaged in a series of adventures, 
or labors, like those of Heracles, undertaken 
for the good of his countrymen. He even 
devoted himself to death by a self-offering to 
the Minotaur of Crete, but Ariadne, daughter 
of King Alinos, furnished him a sword and a 
ball of thread, by means of which he traced 
the labyrinth and slew the Minotaur in his 
den. On his return to his own country with 
Ariadne he forgot to hobt the white sail, 
which was to be the signal of his victory, and 
King £geus, believing hb son destroyed, 
threw himself into the sea. Theseus thus be- 
came king of Attica. He afterwards subdued 
the Amazons, went on the Argonautic expe- 
dition, and fought against the Centaurs, those 
fabulous horse-man monsters that inhabited 
the plains of Thessaly. 

Similar, also, is the legend of (Edipus, the 
great hero of Thebes. On account of a warn- 
ing from the Delphic oracle he was exposed 
at birth by hb &ther, Laios, but was rescued 
and taken to Corinth, where he was adopted 
as the son of Polybus and Merope. Journey- 
ing towards Thebes, he met an old man in a 
chariot, who ordered him out of the way and 
struck him. CEdipus was enraged and slew 
him, and the dead man afterwards proved to 
be hb &ther, Laios. Not knowing what he 
had done, OBdipus went on to Thebes. There 
the merciless Sphinx had brought drought and 
distress upon the city; for none could answer 
the riddles which the monster, sitting on the 
brow of the hill above the city, propounded 
to the people. But CEklipus solved the dark 
sayings of the Sphinx, and she threw herself 
down from the height and perbhed. The 
deliverer was rewarded by the gift of locaste, 
the queen, who was bestowed on him in mar- 
riage. Now, locaste was hb mother I So the 
oracle was fulfilled. A plague came on the 
city. CEdipus tore out hb eyes, and locaste 
died of despair. 

. Nor should the legend be omitted of Cad- 
mus and EuROPA. They were the children of 
Agenor and Telephassa. In childhood, Europa 
was carried away by Zeus, who appeared in 
the form of a white bull. Then the mother 
and brothers went to search for her who was 
abducted. In Thessaly, Telephassa died, but 
Cadmus, under direction of Phoebus Apollo, 
went on to Delphi and found hb sister. 
After the discovery, he was directed by the 
god to follow a cow that should appear before 
him, and where she should lie down there he 
should found a city. He did so, and thus 
laid the foundation. of Thebes. 

The founding of Athens by Cecrops intro- 
duces another interesting legend. According 
to one myth thb great hero «^as of Pelasgio 
origin, but the commonly received tradition 
made him an Egyptian from Sab. He b 
said to have brought a colony into Attica and 
to have founded the Acropolis. In the tem- 
ple of Artemb a statue was placed to hb 
honor; for in a dbpute between that goddess 
and Poseidon he had decided for her, and 
the olive-tree, instead of the trident, was 


lafcen as the symbol of Athens. After the 
foundatioiu of the city were laid, Cecrops di- 
vided Attica into twelve communiUes. He 
gave good laws, estahlished marriage, abol- 
ished bloody sacrifices, encouraged agriculture 
and the building of ships, brought in the 
dawn of civilization. 

Many other legends of like sort might be 
recited from the treasure-house of Grecian 
story. One of peculiar interest is that of 
Abclefiob.' He was the reputed son of Apollo 
tod the nymph Coronis. At his birth Fhiebus 
left the moUier and went his ways. Then 
came Iscbys from Arcadia and won her love. 
For this disloyalty Artemis slew Coronia, but 
Aaclepios was saved alive. He was reared by 
the centaur Cheiron, who 
taught him the mysteries of 
the healing art, by which 
the pupil gained a world-wide 
fame. He even raised the 
dead ; but by doing so he pro- 
voked the wrath of Hades, 
who complained to Zeus that 
his kingdom would be unpeo- 
pled. Zeus thereupon smote 
Asclepiofi with a thunderbolt. 
For this, Apollo, being en- 
raged, slew the Cyclopes, 
servants of Zeus; but the lat- 
ter squared the account by 
condemning Apollo to serve for a year in 
the house of Admetus, king of Phene. 

Deucalion was the son of Prometheus and 
Clymene. In him is preserved the tradition 
of the Grecian flood. In the time of King 
Lycaon and his sons the wickedness of the 
world became intolerable. Zeus resolved to 
destroy mankind with a deluge of water. So 
he sent a flood. As the waters rose Deuca- 
lion entered the ark which he had prepared 
in accordance with the warning of his father, 
Prometheus, and for eight days was home on 
the breast of the waters. Then the ark rested 
on Parnassus. Deucalion came out with his 
wife Pyrrha, and prayed for the restoration 
of mankind. Hermes, in answer, told him 
that he and Pyrrha, in descending the moun- 

'TTsuallj' known by his Latin name of ^scu- 

tain, should cover their faces with mantlcfl 
and cast behind them the bones of their 
mother. Deucalion was a rationalist. By 
"mother" he understood the earth, and by 
" bones" he understood atones ; for the stones 
are the bones of the earth. So he and Pyrrha 
did as Hermes had bidden ; the stones which 
they flung behind them became human beings, 
and the world was repeopled. 

Another interesting legend is that of Pbo- 
BfBTHEDS and £piUErH£U8, the Forethought 
and Afterthought of the Grecian myth. The 
story of Prometheus has already been given. 
On one occasion he slew an ox in sacrifice, 
and, placing the flesh and entrails under the 
skin in one place and the bones under the &t 

in another, told Zeus to take his choice. He 
ruler of gods and men chose the fat and got 
the bones. Finding himself outwitted, and 
Prometheus being gone, Zeus proceeded to 
punish Afterthought in his stead. He ordered 
HephiBstus to make a clay-woman. He com- 
manded Athene to clothe her in beautiful 
robes, and Hermes to give her the power of 
speech to deceive and betray mankind. So 
Pandora was made and given to Epimetheus 
for a wife! When she was received into his 
house she there opened a great cask, out of 
which flew all the plagues of the world. 
Every thing escaped except Hope, and she wm 
left imprisoned f 

In the domain of exploits the two most 
famous preserved in the legendary lore of the 
Greeks were the AiraONAimc Expedition 
and the Trojan War. The first of these was 



undertftkea by the Orecian chiefs for the re- 
covery of the Ooldeu Fleece. This fleece 
belonged to the ram of Phrixue. He -nae the 
son of Athamas aail Nepbele. When Nephele 
died Athamas married Ino. Phrizus and 
Helle, his sieter, were very unhappy until the 
ram with the golden fleece came and carried 
them away. While he bore them aloft Helle 
fell off and was drowned in the narrow strait 
thenceforth called the fleUeipoiU. Phrixusrode 
onward to the palace of ^etes, Mng of Col- 
chis. By him was the ram sacrificed to Zeus 
and the fleece hung up in the palace nntil 

among the armed men that sprang up from 
the teeth of the dragon. On doing this, the 
armed men fell to slaying each olher. Then 
Medea lulled the dragon to sleep. Jason 
quickly slew him and bore away the Golden 
Fleece iu triumph. 

The story of the Trojan War is perhaps 
the most famous tradition of antiquity. In 
the poems of Homer it has acquired an im- 
mortality of fame. The circumstances lead- 
ing to the war h<tve already been referred to 
in the myth of Venus, to whom, by the judg- 
ment of Paris, was awarded the golden apple 


what time the chiefs of the Greeks should 
come and recover it. 

The Greek leaders were gathered for this 
mission by Jason. They sailed away iu the 
good ship Argo — HeracleB, Meleagrog, Am- 
phiaraos, Admetus, and many others. They 
passed the rocks called the Symplegades, that 
opened and closed so quickly .that scarcely 
might a bird dart through with safety. They 
traversed the land of the Amazons, and came 
to Colchis. jEetes refused to surrender the 
fleece until Jason should plow the laud with 
the fire-breathing bulls and sow it with the 
teeth of the dragon, who guarded the fleece. 
Medea aided him. She anointed his body so 
that the breath of the bulls should not destroy 
him, and instructed him to throw a stone 

thrown by Strife among the deities at their 
banquet. When it was known that Helen 
was abducted from the house of her lord, Men- 
elaiis, king of Sparta, there- was a general 
uprising among the princes of Greece for her 
recovery. A great expedition was undertaken 
by water against Troy, the city of Priam, on 
the upper coast of Asia Minor. The gods 
and goddesses were nearly all involved in the 
conflict. Hera and Athene were for the 
Greeks; Aphrodite for the Tmjans. The city 
was besieged for ten years, and was finally, 
when naked valor had failed, taken by the 
device of the Wooden Horse. Famous in 
all the world is the story of the stratagem. 
The Greeks made of sawn fir a hage effigy 
of a horse, and filled the cavemous body 



vith a company of soldiers. This moiiBtrouB 
eaigma they left standing on the eand, and 
then sailed away as if they were giving up 
the siege. They took care, however, to con- 
Tey to the Trojans a lie so carefully contrived 

carried off, Helen herself recovered and borne 
back to her Spartan home. The condition of 
Greece in the time of the return of the expe* 
dition — the social life, manners, and institn- 
tiona of the race — are depicted with great 


■a to induce them to cut their walls and draw 
in the dangerous horse. At night the pent- 
up soldiers came forth; the Greeks sailed back 
from Tenedos, and Troy was taken. Priam's 
palace was sacked and burnt, its treasures 

beauty m the imperishable pages of the 
Odytaey ~ Such, then, are the mythological and 
legendary antecedents of that brilliant people 
whose career in peace and war is now to be 



T what time and in what 
manner liie states of 
Hellas were first colo- 
nized can not now — per- 
haps never will — be 
known. Historjr opens 
upon the scene with set- 
tled tribes, walled cities, and petty kings al- 
ready established in the country. Still, at 
the very dawn of Greek history, we are met 
with a conunotion among the tribes, a general 
jostling of one race by another to liie ex- 
tent of undoing a previous cdadition and the 
efltahlifihment of a new in its stead. One of 
the earliest of these movements is that of the 
Boeotians from Theaaaly into their own coun- 
try, known as the BceotianMioiutioit. Their 
original seat was in the district of .£oliB in 
Central Thessaly, from which position they 
were driven by the incoming of rude tribes 
from Epirus. Being thus dispossessed, the 
Bceotmna moved to the south and obtained a 
footing in the country afterwards called Bceo- 
tia. There was thus begun from the north a 
movement which jostled tribe after tribe of 
the primitive Hellenes from their seats until 
nearly all the states had felt the influence of 
the agitation. The date of this migration is 
uncertain. Presumably, the event was subse- 
quent to the Trojan War; for neither this 
migration of the Bisotians, nor the later one 
of the Dorians, is mentioned in the Hiad or 

It is not improbable that the removal of 
the Bteotians into Central Greece gave the 
initial impulse in the larger and more impor- 
tant movement of the Dorians, known as the 
Dorian Migration or the Return of the 
Heraclida. Here there is a mingling of 
history and fable. It is easy to see how the 
people, displaced by the Bceotians from their 
little state of Doris in Central Greece, would 
in turn fall upon some of the tribes further 
south, and that thus the wave of agitation 
nould roll on into Peloponnesus. But tradi- 

tion has taken op the lay and gives a more 
elaborate account of the movement. 

The Dorians, according to their belief, 
had original chums in Peloponnesus. These 
cUims were based upon the leladcns of this 
people' with the descendants of Heracles. To 
him belonged the rightful sovereignty of 
Southern Greece ; but of this he was deprived 
by the wiles of Hera, who contrived to hav« 
EurystheuB preferred for the kingdom of As- 
gos. Heracles was condemned to service, and 
his descendants to exile. Under tbe lead of 
Hyllus, the sod of Heracles, they had at- 
tempted to regain their lost patrimony ; but 
Hyllus was slun by Echemus of Tegea, and 
they themselves were bound to renounce all 
efibrts at recovery for the space of a hundred 
years. Finally, however, the century elapsed, 
and the grandsons of Hyllus — Temenns, Cres> 
phontes, and Aristodemus — determined to 
recover their birthright. In this effort they 
were joined by the Dorians, who retained a 
gratef^il recollection of how Heracles, in for- 
mer times, had aided their king .£gimius in a 
war with the Liapitbee. So the Heraclidn 
and the Dorians made common cause in the 
attempt to gain possesMon of Peloponnesus. 

Meanwhile, the sons of Heracles were 
warned by an oracle not to attempt to pan 
through the isthmus of Corinth, but to crosM 
the gulf at its mouth. They were given free 
passes through .£tolia, the king himself act- 
ing as their guide. The Ozolian Locrians, 
also, lent their aid by giving them a harbor 
in which to construct the necessary ships, and 
this place was henceforth known as Naupatv 
tus or ShiptowD. Aristodemus died here, but 
his two sons, Euryathenes and Procles, and 
the remaning brothers led the people acrogi 
the gulf into Achaia. 

At this time the most powerful chief in 
Peloponnesus was Tisamenus, son of Arestes. 
Against him the Heraclidn and the Dorians 
marched, and he was defeated in battle. 
Gathering his subjects togetber, however, na 



retired into the northern districts of Southern 
Greece, then occupied by the lonians. Them 
he expelled, and then took possession of their 
country. The victory of the Heraclidse being 
complete, they proceeded to divide among 
themselves and the Dorians the conquered 
states of Peloponnesus. Oxylus, the -fitolian, 
received the kingdom of Elis. Temenus and 
Cresphontes and the two sons of Aristode- 
mus then drew lots for the three states of 
Sparta, Argos, and Messenia. The first fell 
to the children of Arbtodemus; Argos, to 
Temenus ; and Messenia to Cresphontes. Nor 
was there serious opposition on the part of 
the people of the country. The Epeans, who 
were the primitive people of Elis, submitted 
after the death of their king. Bands of 
^tolians were brought into the country from 
the north of the gulf, and from henceforth 
the new people were called Eleans. Temenus 
secured Argos without difficulty ; and his sons 
soon enlarged the kingdom by conquering 
Troezenia, Epidauria, Egina, and Sicyonia, 
thus extending the state of Argolb to the 
iimits defined in a preceding chapter. The 
state of Sparta was secured to the sons oi 
Aristodemus by the treachery of the Achseau 
Philonomus, who was rewarded with the sov- 
ereignty of Amyclse. The towns of Sparta 
all submitted with the exception of Helos, 
whose people, the Helots, were for their ob- 
stinacy reduced to servitude. Of them much 
will hereafter be said as the servile class in 
Sparta. Melanthus, king of Messenia, gave 
up without a struggle, and withdrew with a 
large pait of his subjects into Attica. 

A shiort time subsequent to these events 
the state of Corinth was also taken by the 
Dorians. When the Heraclidse were about 
to embark from Naupactus, on their mission 
of conqueKC, one of the leaders, named Hip- 
potes, had killed a priest by the name of 
Camus, and for this he was banished by the 
other sons of Heracles and forbidden to share 
with them in the division of Peloponnesus. 
For ten years he was an exile; but aft^r his 
death his son, Aletes, revived his father's 
claims, marched into Corinth with a body of 
Dorians, overthrew the dynasty of the Sisy- 
phids, and took the kingdom. The original 

.£olian inhabitants were banished from the 
country. Thus were the Heraclidse establidied 
as the rulers of all Peloponnesus. But no 
date can yet be assigned for these half-legend- 
ary movements of the Hellenic tribes. 

The previous political condition of the 
country thus overrun by the Dorians may be 
briefly noticed. Peloponnesus was, during the 
Heroic Age, the seat of those kingdoms from 
which the most of the Greek chiefs were 
gathered for the conquest of Troy. That 
most ancient city Mycense, in Argolb, was the 
capital of Agamemnon, known as the "king 
of men.'' His brother Menelaiis was, at the 
same time, king of Sparta, and from him was 
hb wife Helen, the beautiful cause of the 
woes of the Greeks, taken away by the con- 
trivance of Aphrodite and the willingness of 
Paris. At the same time Argos was ruled by 
Diomedes, who bore so heroic a part in the siege 
of Troy. Other princes held sway in difierent 
portions of the country. The central mount- 
ainous region was inhabited — as it continued 
to be aft^r the Dorian conquest — by the Ar- 
cadians, a primitive race thought to have 
been the descendants of the Pelasgians. The 
two principal towns of this region were Tegea 
and Mantinea. The rest of the country was 
occupied with villages and rustic settlements, 
which, from their seclusion, bore no active 
part in the hbtory of Greece. Such was that 
condition of aflidrs which was superseded by 
the establishment of the kingdoms of the 
Heraclidse in Southern Hellas. 

Meanwhile, other tribal movements had 
been precipitated by the invasion of the Do- 
rians. Many of the original inhabitants of 
Peloponnesus, driven from their homes by the 
Heraclidse, sought refuge in foreign lands. 
The coasts of Asia Minor became the principal 
resort of these fugitives and exiles. The 
first band was made of those Achseans of Pel- 
oponnesus, who, jostled from their native 
haunts on the Corinthian gulf, went first into 
Boeotia. Then they were joined by others, 
principally of the .£olian race, and soon de- 
parted for new homes on the other side of the 
^gean. They settled along the northern 
coast of Asia Minor, taking possession ot the 
blands of Lesbos and Tenedos; and here they 



laid the toundations of those cities which 
were afterwards joined in the JE^uilS Con- 

More important by fiur was the migration 
of the lonians. These people had been ex- 
pelled by the Achsans &om their native seats 
on the Corinthian Oulf, and had sought refuge 
in Attica. Here they were joined by others 
of the same race, just as the .£olians had 
gathered head in Boootia. Many strangers, 
exiles, and refugees also assembled with the 
emigrants who departing from Attica were 
led by the family of Codrus, the last king of 
Athens, to their chosen homes among the Cy- 
dades and on the coast of Asia Minor. Here 
was founded the Ionian Confederation. 
The country in which the cities of this league 
were located lay along the shore from the 
river Hermus to the Meander, and has already 
been described in the Book on the History of 
Persia. The two principal islands belonging 
to Ionia were Chios and Samos, with which 
were included many others of smaller import- 
ance. Twelve cities in this part of Asiatic 
Greece belonged to the confederation, many 
of them of great importance both commer- 
cially and politically. 

In the partition of Peloponnesus it hap- 
pened that some of the Dorian chie& could 
not be provided with a '' kingdom ** on the 
main-land of Greece. For this reason, they 
with their followers and many of the native 
AchsBans, also left the country and established 
themselves in Asia Minor. The part of the 
coast selected lay to the south of Ionia, and 
included the two important islands of Rhodes 
and Cos. In the former three of the six 
cities belonging to* the colonies known as the 
Doric Hexapoub were founded — Lindus, 
lalysus, and Camirus. On the main-land 
were situated the two important towns of 
Halicamassus and Cnidus. 

So runs the tradition of the various migra- 
tions — ^Dorian, Ionian, .£olian — which oc- 
curred at the close of the Heroic Age of 
Greece. These narratives can not be accepted 
without many grains of allowance. It is now 
well known that Ionia was the oldest civilized 
state of the Greeks, and that enlightenment 
spread westward from the shores of Asia 

Minor, until, difiAised among the Gydades, it 
finally fladied its radiance into Hellas Proper. 
From this it will be seen that the only rational 
view to be taken of the alleged migrations 
from the West is that which represents the 
lonians of the main-land, disturbed by the 
movement of the Dorians from the North, as 
going back and settling among their own 
countrymen, already for a long time the dom- 
inant people on the coast of Asia Minor. 
Nor is there any thing incongruous in thb 
view of the case ; for people, when driven by 
invasion from their homes, are just as likely 
to return to their kinsmen as to strike out 
into unoccupied regions. Criticism, therefore, 
simply demands that the migration of the 
.£olians, lonians, and Dorians shall be read 
the return of the .£olians, etc., which is, in- 
deed, the very language given by tradition to 
the movement of the Hejraclidis from the 
North into Peloponnesus. 

The colonies sent out by the Greeks in 
these early times were not all directed to the 
Cyclades and Asia Minor. Tradition also de- 
scribes a migration of Dorians into Crete. 
This island had been the scene of many pre- 
historic wonders. Here Minos, the great law- 
giver and hero, had established his institutions 
in the old mythological dawn, when Zeus's love 
for Europa gave a benefieu^tor to men before 
the days of Deucalion. For that &bulous 
navigator was the son of Minos. He, having 
from hb father a pledge that all of his 
prayers should be granted, and aspiring to be 
king of Crete, prayed that a bull might come 
from the sea as a sacrifice for Poseidon. But 
when the animal appeared he was so beautiful 
that another was led to the altar instead of 
that sent Poseidon was ofiended, and as a 
punishment afflicted the wife of Mnos by in- 
spiring her with an insane passion for the 
bull. So was bom the monster Minotaur, 
whom Minos shut up in the Cnossian Laby« 
rinth. He then obtained the throne of Creta 
and became fiuned as a law-giver. From him 
Lycurgus was said to have obtained the 
models of those institutions which he gave the 
Spartans. So into Crete, at the close of the 
Heroic Age, a band of Dorians, driven hj 
Sparta from the town of Amycke, was led 



and colonized. There they founded the two 
cities of GJortyna and Lyttus. The new- 
comers represented themselves as being of the 
same race with the primitive Cretans, and 
Claimed the glories of Minos as their own. 
There was thus efiected a solidarity of Dorian 
interests, not only in Southern Peloponnesus, 
but also in the islands of Crete, Melos, and 
Thera. In the political struggles of after- 
times, the Spartans could always depend 
upon these island populations for sympathy 
and aid. 

These migratory movements of the Hellenic 
tribes, in the shadowy era just subsequent to 
ihe Heroic Age, are the events in which the 
myths and traditions of the preceding times 
gradually melt away, and the daydawn of ac- 
tual history is ushered in. From this time 
forth dates may be fixed with approximate 
certainty ; yet actual certainty is not attained 
until the establishment of the Olympic games ; 
and since this event is the Year One of Gre- 
cian chronology, it will be proper here to re- 
count the circumstances of the establishment 
of the Ol3rmpiad, and of the other great 
periodic gatherings of the Greeks. 

After their belief in a common descent 
and the possession of a common language, 
the facts which most closely allied the Hellenes 
were their great periodic games and festivals. 
To participate in these was to be Greek ; not 
to participate was to be barbarian. A spirit 
of union was engendered among all the states, 
which, though not always triumphant over 
jealousy and faction, was nevertheless of in- 
calculable advantage in promoting the com- 
mon interests of the race in its Competitions 
and struggles with the outside world. Of 
these national festivab, in which the predom- 
inating feature was the game or contest, there 
were four in number: the Olympic, the 
Pythian, the Isthmian, and the Nemean. 
They were open to all persons of the Hellenic 
race, and were attended by enormous throngs 
gatiiered from all parts of the Grecian world 
and from kingdoms beyond the seas. At 
what time they were instituted is not known ; 
for they came, like most of the other institu- 
tions of Greece, out of the shadows of the 

mythical ages. 

N.— Vol. 1—32 

The Olympian Games, the most fiunoua 
and popular of all, took their name from the 
town of Olympia, on the banks of the river 
Alpheus, in Elis. Here stood an ancient 
temple of the Olympian Zeus; and here, at 
some time in the prehistoric period, the games 
began to be celebrated. As yet they were 
only a local institution, and continued such 
until they were revived and amplified by 
Iphitus, king of the Eleans, and Lycurgus, 
the law-giver of Sparta. This important 
event took place in the year B. C. 776. So 
great was the celebrity which the games under 
the new patronage at once achieved, that 
henceforth their mythical history was neg- 
lected and the celebration above referred to 
was numbered as the First Olympiad ; and. 
from that were dated all the subsequent events 
of Grecian hbtory. So strong a hold did this 
Era obtain in public usage throughout all 
Greece and the civilized world, that the 
method of dating by Ol3rmpiads was not aban- 
doned until the close of the fourth century, 
and then only by an edict of the Roman Em- 
peror Theodosius. 

The Olympian games were celebrated 
every fourth year. In the first stages of their 
development they embraced merely a contest 
for the palm in foot-racing, the celebration 
lasting for but a single day. In a short time, 
however, the competition was extended to 
other sports. Trials of strength, as well as 
of fleetness, were introduced. Then came the 
competition of skill. Wrestling, boxing, 
jumping, throwing the quoit, hurling the 
javelin, were the more common of the sports. 
Afterwards, the exciting horse-race and the 
chariot-race were added. The driver entered 
the course with four fiery steeds, harnessed 
abreast to the car in which himself was 
mounted, and went whirling away like mad 
to gain a place in advance of his competitors. 
At the same time that the scope of the con- 
test was enlarged, the period was extended 
from one day to five. During the festival 
almost every hour witnessed a renewal of the 
sport. The competition, though of the keen- 
est edge, was always friendly, and during the 
whole time of the prevalence of the institution 
fighting with weapons was forbidden. 


'JTie only prize with which a victor in the 
Oljmpian games was rewarded was a wreath 
of wild olive; but this was considered the 
greatest t\onor which a Greek could achieve. 

No other distinction conferred in peace or war 
was reckoned of equal honor. The winner 
was gratified with every mark of appreciative 
regard which it was possible for an enthu- 
daetic people to bestow. Hia name was pro- 

claimed before all Greece, and applauded 
by all his countrymen. His fomily was 
ennobled by his victory. His statue was 
set up in the sacred grove of the Olympian 
Zeus. On his re- 
turn to his owB 
city he was re- 
ceived without the 
walls by a proces- 
sion, and was es- 
corted to hia home, 
with shouting and 
the muucof flntea. 
The rhapsodists re- 
cited his prusea. 
Rewards were 
voted to him by 
the citizens. Bii 
taxes were re- 
mitted, and he 
was given a dis- 
H tinguiehed seat in 
< all public aesem- 
K blies. If a Spar- 
S tan, he might 
g henceforth in bat> 
° tie fight next to 
g the person of the 
king. His victor's 
wreath was hung 
up as a precious 
legacy to his chil- 
dren's children, 
who were thereby 
to be reminded 
of a glorious an- 

The attendance 
at the Olympic fes- 
tival was enoi^ 
mously large, and 
embraced the best 
people of all 
Greece. The gen- 
eral management 
was intrusted to a committee of Eleana, 
who appointed a court of judges, called the 
HeUajwdica. These decided all the conteata 
and made the awards to the victors. During 
the contJnuBDce of the festival all violenoe 



oaased. No act of hostility was pennitted in 
ftll Greeoe. The territory of Elis became 
Mcred, and the nuurching of any armed force 
tipon it was an act of sacrilege. Everything 
that could add to the interest of the great 
celebration was carefully attended to. With 
Uie progress of the contests the enthusiasm of the 
throng rose to the highest pitch, and a feeling 
of unity and goodfellowship, most essential to 
the welfiure of the Hellenic states, was gener- 
ously cultivated. Especially was this true 
after artistic, musical, and poetical contests 
were added to those of mere bodily skill and 
endurance. The humanizing tendency of the 
festival was felt as a creative force in all the 
highest branches of human achievement, and 
not a few of the great works of the Greek 
mind might without sophistry be traced to the 
influence of the national games. 

After the Cirrhsean war, in B. C. 685, a 
new festival called the Pythian was instituted 
by the Amphictyonic CounciL It was cele- 
brated once in three years in the Cirrhsean 
plain, and was on the same general plan as 
the Olympic games. The Amphictyons pre- 
sided, and, since the festival was in honor of 
Apollo, music and poetry, as well as bodily 
contests, were from the first a part of the ex- 
ercises. So great was the success of the in- 
stitution thus established that the Pjrthian 
games became second only to those at Olympia. 

The Nemeak festival was, as indicated by 
its name, celebrated in the valley of Nemea, 
in Argolis. It was instituted in the fifty- 
second Olympiad, B. C. 572, and was held in 
each alternate year. Before this time there 
had been local games at Nemea, running 
back in their origin to the mythical ages. 
The celebration was in honor of the Nemean 
Zeus, and was at the first open only to war- 
riors; but afterwards this restriction was re- 
moved, and all Greeks might participate. In 
the contests, however, some military features 
were preserved, such as that between foot- 
/aoers clad in armor. But in general the 
competition was like that in the Olympic and 
Pythian games. At the beginning, the victor 
in a Nemean contest was crowned with a 
chaplet of wild olive, but afterwards the 
olive was replaced with parsley. 

The Isthmian games were celebrated on the 
Isthmus of Corinth, in the month of April, 
on each second and fourth year of the Olym- 
piad. They are said to have been first insti- 
tuted by Athamas, king of Orchomenus. 
Afterwards they were revived by Theseus in 
honor of Poseidon, and finally, in the sixth 
century before our era, were made a national 
festival for all Greeks. The celebration was 
conducted under the auspices of the Coriii- 
thians and the Athenians, but at a later period 
the Sicyonians held the exclusive right of 
presiding and deciding the contests. After 
Greece had fallen under the dominion of the 
Romans, gladiatorial shows were introduced, 
as were also contests of wild beasts — a kind 
of sport alwajTS repulsive to the refined tastes 
of the Hellenes. The prize ofiered for victory 
in an Isthmian contest was a garland of pine 
leaves, and to this a law of Solon added a 
reward of a hundred drachmse. 

In connection with these great games, con- 
sidered as institutions calculated to create and 
foster a pan-Hellenic spirit, mention should 
also be made of the Amphictyonic Council. 
Its general character was that of a kind of 
sacred congress. It had a mythical and re- 
ligious origin. Amphictyon, the reputed 
founder, was one of the heroes. The iassoci- 
ation was in the first place a religious body, 
which met at stated intervals to perform sac- 
rifices and supervise the rites of the country. 
Having their head-quarters in the great temple 
at Delphi, to which all Greece was wont to 
look for the omens of prophecy, the Amphic- 
tyons gradually acquired an ascendency over 
other associations of like sort in difierent parts 
of the country. Influence grew into author- 
ity, and the Council came to be recognized 
as a determining influence in the weightiest 
aflairs of the Greeks. It was the great court 
of appeal to which internstate disputes were 
referred for settlement ; but its power to reg- 
ulate and determine questions of national im- 
portance never rose to true congressional 
proportions, else the destiny of the Hellenic 
communities, resolved into a Union, might 
have withstood both Philip and the Romans. 

The Council held two sessions annually, 
the first in the spring at the shrine of Apollo, 



in Delphi, and the other in the autumn, in 
the temple of Demeter, at Therm opylse. Its 
members were called Amphictyons, and were 
chosen as deputies by the twelve states repre- 
sented in the court. The delegates from each 
state consisted of a Hieromnemcmy or chief, 
and several subordinates called Pylagarce; but 
each delegation acted as a unit in the Coun- 
cil, and cast two votes in the name of the 
state represented. The different tribes who, 
by the appointment of deputies, recognized 
the authority of the Amphictyons were the 
Thessalians, the Boeotians, the Dorians, the 
lonians, the Perrhsebians, the Magnetes, the 
Locrians, the CEtseans, the Achsaans, the Pho- 
clans, the Dolopians, and the Malians. From 
the names of these constituent peoples it will 
readily be seen how ancient was the Amphic- 
tyonic institution ; for several of these tribes 
had virtually disappeared before the classical 
age of Greece. 

Among the first duties of the great Coun- 
cil was to uphold the influence of the oracle 
and temple of Delphi. The interests of the 
states represented were carefully, though not 
always efficiently, guarded. On the assump- 
tion of their duties the deputies were required 
to take the following oath: ** We will not 
destroy any Amphictyonic town, or cut it off 
from running water in war or peace. If any 
one shall do so, we will march against him 
and destroy his city. If any one shall plun- 
der the property of the god, or shall be cogni- 
zant thereof, or shall take treacherous counsel 
against the things in his temple at Delphi, 
we will punish him with foot and hand and 
voice, and by every means in our power.** 

It is clear from the tenor of this obligation 
that the primary objects of the Council were 
religious rather than secular. It was only 
in later developments that the Amphictyons 
became an important power in the political 
affairs of Greece ; nor did their influence ever 
become so great as to entitle them to be con- 
sidered a congress, in the modem sense of that 
word. Perhaps the most important general 
result of the organization was that it tended 
to the nationality of Greece. The line was 
thus drawn more distinctly than ever between 
Greek and Barbarian. The Amphictyons 

were themselves united in one body, and the 
unity of the twelve states represented was 
thereby symbolized and stimulated. The name 
of Hellenes, applied to the whole Greek people, 
acquired a new significance because of this fed- 
eral title adopted by the Council 

A second result of scarcely less importance 
was that of a fixity of territorial limits for the 
several Greek states. This was one of the 
matters of which the Amphictyony took spe- 
cial cognizance. The determination of borders 
which might not be disputed was a matter of 
great moment in the maintenance ' of peace 
and the promotion of civilization. 

The early character of the Council may be 
inferred from its relation to the First Sacred 
War, which occurred between the years B. C. 
595 and 585. The Phocian town of Crissa 
was situated on the heights of Parnassus, near 
the oracle of Apollo. Its territory extended 
from the mountains to the gulf of Corinth. 
Its seaport was the little town of Cirrha. 
Having commercial advantages it grew to im- 
portance. The visitors who came from all 
parts of the Grecian world to consult the ora- 
cle landed and embarked at Cirrha. With 
the increase of population the place became 
ambitious. Crissa, not without cause, grew 
jealous; and, when the Cirrhseans proceeded 
to enrich themselves by levying exorbitant 
contributions upon the pilgrims going to and 
from the shrine of Apollo, took cognizance of 
the matter and declared war. The Thessalians 
and Athenians were summoned to the aid of 
Crissa, and for ten years Cirrha was invested 
by the forces of the Council. At last the 
town was taken by a stratagem not very hon- 
orable in so sacred a cause. It is said that, 
at the suggestion of Solon, the lawgiver of 
Athens, the waters of the river Plistus, which 
flowed through the besieged city, were poi- 
soned, and the Cirrhseans were thus driven 
to surrender. The town was leveled to the 
ground. The rich plain in which it stood, 
extending northward towards Delphi, was 
consecrated to Apollo, and curses were pro- 
nounced upon him who henceforth should 
ever attempt its cultivation.' Thus, by the 

' It was in this plain that the Pythian games 
were celebrated. See p. 517. 

-^p " • 

I - • 



diligence of the great Council was the honor 
of Phcebus vindicated. From this time forth 
his oracle was more consulted than ever, and 
richer gifts were poured into his treasury. The 
influence of the Amphictyons was extended 

throughout all Greece. It was seen that in 
them the national religion and traditions had 
found an immovable bulwark against aggres- 
sion — ^a power jealous of whatever seemed to 
threaten the unity and renown of Hellas. 


>ST notable of the facts 
belonging to the second 
period of Greek develop- 
ment — a period extending 
from the epoch of the 
Dorian migrations to the 
revolt of the Ionian cities 
against the Persians — were the growth and pre- 
ponderance of Sparta anc Athens as the two 
leading Hellenic states, and the establishment of 
institutions by the legislation of I^ycurgus and 
Solon. The first fact unfortunately involved 
a rivalry of the two commonwealths which 
became the bane of Greek history, but the 
other contained those legislative germs which, 
springing here and there in the soil of free- 
dom, have contributed not a little to the 
growth of human liberty. 

After the agitations consequent upon the Re- 
turn of the Heraclidae had somewhat subsided, 
there appeared in Peloponnesus the three 
leading states of Laconia, Argos, and Mes- 
senia. It was in the first of these that the 
new Dorian population from the North became 
most easily and completely predominant. 
Argos was not so much revolutionized, and 
Messenia was still less affected in her popula- 
tion and institutions by the invasions. A 
period followed in which the new masters of 
Southern Greece had to struggle and fight for 
the maintenance of their supremacy. By and 
by, when that supremacy was fully established 
and acknowledged, the two leading states of 
Peloponnesus — Sparta and Argolis — fell into 
quarrels and went to war. After the Dorian 
invasion of Argolis, that state still remained 
for a while a confederacy of free cities. Such 
Were Argos — the capital — Cleonae, Phlius, 
Sicyon, Epidaurus, Troezen, and -^gina. 

These were leagued together in the common 
worship of Apollo, and each of the cities 
maintained a temple in his honor. The cen- 
tral shrine was in Argos, and from this place 
the authority of the confederacy was exer- 
cised. Her privileges increased until the time 
of Phidon, who was king of Argos, and who, 
about B. C. 747, reduced the free cities and 
established himself in a despotism. 

It seemed that Argolis under his leader^ 
ship was going to win an easy supremacy 
over all the Dorian states. He made a con- 
quest of Corinth. He claimed to be par «d- 
ceUence the representative of the great ancestor, 
Heracles, and in his name demanded the sub- 
mission of his kinsmen, the leaders of the 
Heraclidae. In the Eighth Olympiad he in- 
terfered with the presidency of the games, 
deprived the Eleans of their privileges, took 
the presidency himself, and then set up the 
Pisatans instead of their deposed rivals. 

This act, however, soon led to his down- 
fall. For the Eleans, unwilling to. lose the 
honorable prerogative of presiding over the 
Olympic festival, appealed to Sparta to aid in 
the maintenance of their rights. The appeal 
was favorably heard. The Spartans espoused 
the cause of the petitioners, went to war with 
Phidon, defeated him in battle, and destroyed 
the pretensions of Argolis to the leadership of 
Southern Greece. From this time forth there 
was never any doubt that Sparta was destined 
to the first place among the Peloponnesian 

It will be remembered that, when the 
Heraclidae drew lots for the distribution of 
territories, Laconia fell to the two sons 
of Aristodemus. This fact remained a pre- 
cedent in Spartan institutions, and a 



double, instead of a single, royal house was a 
part of the primitive constitution of the coun- 
try. Up to the time of the war with Argolis 
and the establishment of the supremacy of 
Sparta, that state had had the same general 
type of civilization and development as the 
other Dorian communities and cities; but 
from this time onward a separation took place 
between Sparta and all the other Hellenic 
commonwealths, until she was almost as much 
distinguished in her institutions and popular 
characteristics from her sister Doi-ic states of 
Argos and Corinth as she was fi-om Thebes 
and Athens. Only with Crete did the cus- 
toms, manners, and laws of the Spartans hold 
them in fellowship and sympathy. This sepa- 
ration — amounting to an isolation — of Sparta 
&om the other Grecian states, and her conse- 
quent assumption of an independent career, 
were traceable to the work of her great law- 
giver, Lycurgus. 

The dissensions in Laconia between the old 
and the new populations constituted a serious 
drawback to the progress of that state. The 
Dorian warriors, who had taken possession of 
the country, were too strong to be displaced, 
but the mass of the people smarted under 
their exactions, and would have rebelled but 
for fear of the consequences. Besides this 
source of trouble, the evil of a double royal 
house, involving the reign of two kings 
simultaneously, was felt as a dangerous ob- 
stacle to the public welfare. The Spartans, 
moreover, were by nature and previous his- 
tory a lawless tribe, little disposed to accept 
the restraints of civilized society. All of 
these embarrassments combined in producing 
a necessity for a complete revision of existing 
laws, and in short for the establishment of a 
fixed constitution of government. 

The preparation of such a constitution was 
committed to Lycurgus. Tradition makes 
him to have been of the Heraclidae. He was 
the son of Eunomus, a brother of the King 
Polydectes. When the latter died, Lycurgus 
became guardian of his son Charilaiis, who 
was heir to the throne. In spite of the tempta- 
tion to which he was subjected by the widow 
of the late king, who wished Lycurgus to 
murder the child and marry her, he remained 

true to the state, and, taking Charilaus into 
the agora, had him proclaimed as king. He 
himself left Sparta and went into Crete. 

Here he became a student of the laws and 
institutions of Minos, and them he is said to 
have made the basis of the code whkh he 
afterwards reported to his countrymen. From 
Crete he traveled into Egypt and Ionia, and 
even — ^if the tradition may be trusted — as fiur 
as India. While abroad he became acquainted 
with ' the Homeric poems, which had not 
hitherto been recited in Peloponnesus. On 
his return to his own people he found the 
state in anarchy, and a common belief that he 
was to be the agent of the rescue of his coun- 
try. He accordingly yielded to public solici- 
tation, consulted the oracle at Delphi, and 
undertook the preparation of a new frame of 
government. The oracle itself furnished the 
fundamental articles of the constitution, so 
that Lycurgus returned from Delphi with the 
sanction of Apollo. Appearing in the agora 
with, thirty leading citizens, he made known 
his mission, which was gladly accepted by a 
majority of the people; but Charilaus and a 
few of his partisans yielded with reluctance, 
and were overawed by the popular voice. 

Lycurgus thu^ came to his countrymen in 
the double character of a law-giver and a 
messenger fiom Delphi. Necessity and Phoo- 
bus Apol.o were the joint sponsors of his 
legislation. After a season the new constitu- 
tion waf; prepared and given to the state. It 
was wisely based upon the fundamental con- 
ditions which were present in the country. 
The Doric race was recognized as in every re- 
cDCct predominant. The whole body of the 
population was divided into three classes* 
first, the Spartans of Dorian descent, who con- 
stituted the ruling caste ; second, the Perioec», 
or Laconians, who fiu* outnumbered the Spar- 
tans; and third, the Helots or slaves. 

The Dorians had taken the land by conquest.' 
They were accordingly retained as the soldier- 
class forever. No work, no business, was evei 
to interfere with their profession of arms. 
Estimating their numbers at nine thousand, 
Lycurgus divided the fruitful valley and 
plain of the Eurotas into nine thousand equal 
parts, and to each soldier one part was aft* 



signed for his support But the tillage of the 
land was reserved for the servile class, the 
Helots, who were hound to the soil hj a sys- 
tem of serfdom. The remaining lands of 
Laconia, chiefly consisting of mountainous 
districts in the interior, were divided into 
thirty thousand parts and distributed to the 
original inhabitants of the country, thence- 
forth called Perioecie, or " dwellers around." 
The PerioBCSB were to remain free, but were to 
devote themselves to agriculture, trade, and 
commerce. They were also subject to mili- 
tary service at the call of the dominant class 
of Spartans. There was thus, as nearly as 
practicable, an adaptation of all classes to the 
previous conditions existing in the state. 

As another conservative measure, the two 
kings were left undbturbed, but their preroga- 
tives were reduced to a mere dignity and to 
leadership in war. The legislative power was 
given to two assemblies. The first and high- 
est consisted of thirty members called the 
ChronteSj or '* old men," of whom the kings 
were two, whatever might \>e their ages. The 
remaining twenty-eight must be over sixty 
years old. The right to originate all laws 
and measures of state polity belonged to thb 
body. The other assembly embraced as mem- 
bers all male Spartans over the age of thirty. 
These met once a month and voted upon the 
measures proposed by the Grerontes. The 
voting was to be by acclamation, aye or no; 
and n^ debate was permissible. From the 
first all discussions and wrangling were odious 
to the Spartan spirit. 

The constitution of Lycurgus also estab- 
lished an overseership of six Ephors, or magis- 
trates. To them was intrusted a supervisory 
power over the laws passed by the assembly, 
and a final voice in all public matters. Even 
the kings were accountable to the Ephors for 
their conduct. The kingly office was thus so 
greatly hedged with restrictions as to be re- 
duced to a minimum of influence, and in this 
shorn condition was permitted to survive in 
Sparta long after the complete destruction of 
royal prerogative in the other states of Greece. 

The Lycurgian statutes next proceeded to 
the education of the Spartans. The theory 
of the government was that all classes existed 

for the benefit of the state. The individual 
was for the commonwealth — nothing else. 
There has, perhaps, never been in all history 
another instance in which the idea of indi- 
vidual subordination to the public good was 
carried to such lengths as in Sparta. The 
principle lay at the very bottom of Spartan 
society, and explained many otherwise inex- 
plicable circumstances and peculiarities of the 
national character. It followed naturally 
from thb theory that the citizenship should 
be adapts by proper training to the uses of 
the state. Of the dominant Spartans this 
would be true in the highest measure. 

The system contemplated simply the mak« 
ing of soldiers. At birth the child was in* 
spected to determine iU fitness to live. There 
was no compunction. It was simply business. 
The Ephors decided the question. If weak or 
deformed the babe was exposed in the hills of 
Taygetus to perish. If robust and promising 
it was given to the mother for the first seven 
years and then taken from her. Henceforth 
the lad belonged to the state. He was put to 
school. The school was a gymnasium. No 
metaphysical nonsense was allowed about the 
establbhment. It' was for the development 
and hardening of the body. A course of 
rigid discipline and athletic exercises was pre- 
scribed, so severe and heartless as to defy a 
parallel. The youth must wear the same gar- 
ment winter and summer. Hunger, thirst, 
and exposure must be endured without a 
murmur. When starving for food the lad 
might steal, but if t;aught in the act he was 
punished for that. One boy stole a fox, hid 
it under hb garment, and sufl*ered the beast 
to tear out hb bowels rather than betray the 
theft. Once in hb life each youth was taken 
before the altar of Artemb and scourged till 
his back ran gore. The boy was obliged to be 
silent or to say yes and no — no more. Whatever 
was more than these came of evil. He must 
be laconic, impassive. He must endure pain 
and smile. So must the Spartan girl; for the 
discipline was nearly alike for both sexes. 
All feeling must be eliminated. She who 
must presently give up her own babe to fill 
the belly of a Laconian wolf must do so 
smiling. At the age of thirty the boj wat 



promoted to manhood. He might then marry 
and engage in public afiSurs. He still, how- 
ever, belonged to the state in the same sense 
as before. He slept in the public barracks, 
and was not released from military service 
until he reached the age of sixty. 

One feature of the Lycurgian system is de- 
serving of special mention, and that is the 
public mess. A table was spread, at which 
every male citizen was obliged to take his 
meals. The institution was called SysfUia^ 
that is, ''eating together." Each table was 
arranged for the accommodation of fifteen 
persons, and no others than those eating 
regularly at thb bench could be admitted ex- 
cept by unanimous consent, xhe system was 
communbtic. Each eater sent to the table 
monthly his quantum of provisions, consisting 
of a little barley-meal, wine, cheese, and figs. 
A small money contribution was also levied 
for the purchase of meats and fish. These 
articles, however, were only eaten on occasion. 
At the common meal the principal dish was a 
kind of black broth, which was unsavory ex- 
cept to t&e half-starved whose ravenous stom- 
achs craved filling, no matter with what. 

As to inteUectual accomplishments, the 
Lycurgian system provided for two — singing 
and playing on the lyre. But the idea in 
both was warlike. The song was a paBan for 
battle. The lyre was merely to waken martial 
enthusiasm. The poets of Sparta were the 
bards of the barracks. They sang and shouted 
nothing but war. In the times of Spartan 
greatness Homer was the favorite. Tyrtseus 
was a popular hero. Archilochus, who in one 
of his poems chanced to mention his own 
flight from the battle-field, was banished from 
the country! 

What the Greeks of Central Hellas re- 
garded as civilization was abhorred on the 
banks of the Eurotas. Elaborate speech, po- 
liteness, afiable companionship, lively man- 
ners, these were frivolities of which a Spartan 
would not be guilty. Luxury was more to 
be dreaded than the plague. Riches meant 
inequality. Money was a necessary evil. To 
make it as little desirable as possible Lycur- 
gus decreed that the coin of Sparta should be 
of iron. So should he be satirized and pun- 

ished who traded, and he who took valuables 
to market would require a cart and oxen to 
bring home his money.^ In such a school of 
roughness and austerity were the warlike vir- 
tues of the Dorians nursed into iull vigor. 

The system bore its fruits. The man be- 
came a soldier, utterly indifferent to hardship, 
exposure, death. The woman became the 
mother of such men, and was proud of it 
She gave her son a shield with the injunc- 
tion, ** Return with it or on it.** When he was 
brought home stark from the battle-field, she 
said no word. The Spartan mother must not 
disgrace herself I She had only given her son 
to the state. It was for that she bore him. 
He had died on hb shield. Why grieve for 
one who had served hb country? — ^Thus it 
was that the Spartans became a race of sol- 
diers ; and such were their valor and stoicism 
in fight that there was just one way to defeat 
them, and that was to destroy the last man I 
As long as one remained, Sparta was in- 

All of the early hbtory of Peloponnesua 
b involved with that of Sparta. Two-thirds 
of the peninsula was completely under her 
control ; and the rest acknowledged her lead- 
ership. With one state, however, she had a 
protracted and obstinate contest. Thb was 
Messenia, on the west, a commonwealth in 
which the supremacy of the Dorians had 
never been fully establbhed or quietly ac- 
cepted. It was only a question of time when 
the domination of Sparta would lead to an 
outbreak. The date assigned for the begin- 
ning of the first conflict b B. C. 743. Before 
thb, one of the Spartan kings had been killed 
by the Messenians at the temple of Artemb, 
on Mount Taygetus, but the murderers gave 
such an account of the affiiir as justified the 
killing. Shortly afterwards, however, a pri- 
vate quarrel led to open war. Polychares, a 
leading Messenian, who had won a crown at 
an Olympic festival, was robbed of hb cattle 

^ It has been urged with some plausibility that 
the statute for iron money did not properly be- 
long to the laws of Lycurgns, but to a later date. 
As a matter of fact no gold or silver money had 
as yet been coined in Greece ; and the practical 
satire of the Lycurgian system would, under the 
I circumstances, be no satire at all. 



by a Spartan, Eusephniu, who added to the 
crime by murdering the son of Polychares, 
who was sent for redress. The father ap- 
pealed to the Spartan Ephors for justice, but 
was turned away. He then took matters into 
his own hands, and gave his herdsmen orders 
to kill all the Lacedaemonians whom they 
should meet. The Spartans, who were prob- 
ably not displeased, secretly prepared for hos- 
tilities, marched across the frontier, took the 
fortress of Amphia, and killed the garrison. 

War broke out in earnest. For four years 
the Messenians defended themselves with 
vigor, but in the fifth they were defeated and 
driven into their stronghold, the old fortress 
of Ithome. They appealed to the Delphic 
oracle, and answer was given that the king's 
daughter would have to be sacrificed to Hades 
in order to secure victory. The king was 
about to comply when the girl's lover inter- 
fered, and she was killed in a scandalous man- 
ner. Although this was no sacrifice, the 
superstitious Spartans were kept at bay by 
the news for several seasons. In the thir- 
teenth year of the war, however, the struggle 
was renewed. The king of Messenia was 
killed in battle, and was succeeded by Aris- 
todemus, who fought bravely for hb country. 
Theopompus, king of Sparta, marched against 
him, and his forces were augmented by a large 
band of Corinthians. The Messenians were 
aided by the Arcadians and Sicyonians. In 
the eighteenth year of the struggle a great 
battle was fought in which the Spartans were 
defeated and driven into their own territories. 

It was now their turn to apply to the ora- 
cle. An answer was returned which promised 
success on condition of a stratagem. Mean- 
while, however, Aristodemus was dismayed by 
dreams. His murdered daughter appeared 
and beckoned him to follow. In despair he 
went to her tomb and killed himself. The 
Messenians were disheartened, and abandoned 
Ithome. The Spartans thereupon gained pos- 
session apd leveled the fortress to the ground. 
The whole of Messenia was quickly overrun. 
Some of the inhabitants fled into Arcadia; 
others to Eleusis and Athens. Those who re- 
mained were reduced to a condition of servi- 
tude like that of the Helots. They were 

obliged by the conquerors to pay them one- 
half of the produce of their lands and to 
submit to intolerable marks of degradation. 

After thirty-nine years, however, the spirit 
of the Messenians revived. In B. C. 685 
Aristomenes claimed the kingdom, and soon 
showed himself to be a warrior worthy to lead 
his people to freedom. A revolt broke out, 
which, before it was quelled, drew into the 
vortex of war nearly all the states of Pelopon- 
nesus. The haughty conduct of Sparta had 
borne the natural fruits of disloyalty, and the 
Argives, Arcadians, Sicyonians, and Pisatans 
all espoused the cause of the Messenians 
against their oppressors. As in the previous 
war, however, the Corinthians sided with 
Sparta and sent her a contingent of troops. 

The first conflict was indecisive, but the 
advantage was with Aristomenes. As a piece 
of eflTrontery he crossed the Spartan frontier 
by night, went to the temple of Athena of 
the Brazen Horse, and hung up a shield with 
this inscription : ** Dedicated by Aristomenes to 
the goddess from the Spartan spoils.'' Such 
was the effect of this piece of audacity that 
the Spartans again cried to the Delphic oracle 
for advice. The answer was returned that 
they should apply to the Athenians for a 
leader. This was wormwood to both the 
parties; but the Athenians, fearing to dis- 
obey the voice of Phoebus, selected a lame 
schoolmaster and poet named Tyrtseus, and 
sent him to lead the warrior Spartans to vic- 
tory! The latter received him with honor, 
and he soon showed both them and the senders 
what a bard may do in war. He began to 
compose martial songs so inspired with the 
spirit of battle that the courage of the Spar- 
tans was revived and themselves fired with 
the greatest zeal for the conflict. Tyrtseus 
was made a citizen of the state, and the war 
was renewed with vigor. 

At the first battle, however, fought at the 
Boar's Grave, in the plain of Stenyclerus, the 
Spartans and Corinthians were defeated with 
great losses. During the second year Aristo- 
menes still kept his foe at bay, but in the 
third a decisive battle was fought which, 
through the treachery of one of the allied 
chiefs, resulted in a signal disaster to the 



MeaseniaDS. Aristomenes was obliged to re- 
tire from the open field to the mountain 
fortress of Ira, where for eleven years he 
maintained the cause of his country. From 
thb stronghold he would as occasion offered 
sally forth in successful raids against the foe. 

Such was his prowess that three times he 
celebrated the sacrifice of Hecatomphonia for 
having in each instance slain with his own 
hand a hundred of the enemy. Three times 
he was taken. Twice he broke away from 
his captors, but in the third case he was car- 
ried with fifty others to Sparta and thrown 
into a deep pit. All the rest were killed, but 
he fell to the bottom unhurt. The next day 
he saw a live fox in the pit, and seizing the 
beast by the tail, he followed it through the 
fissures in the rocks till he found an exit and 
escaped. Equal was the surprise both to his 
own friends and the enemy when he reap- 
peared at Ira. 

Nevertheless, the indomitable energy of 
the Spartans gradually gained the ascendency. 
Aristomenes was said to have forfeited the 
favor of the gods. He was wounded, and, 
while in a disabled condition, was attacked by 
the Lacedsemonians, who succeeded in captur- 
ing Ira. Aristomenes escaped with a band of 
followers. They fled first into Arcadia, and 
afterwards into Rhodes, where the hero passed 
the rest of his days. Many others of hb 
countrymen, led by his sons, left Messenia and 
found refuge in Rhegium in Southern Italy. 
The memory of their brave king was long 
cherished by the Messenians, whose bards re- 
cited his heroism and recounted his reappear- 
ance in battle. 

Thus, in the year B. C. 668, ended the 
Second Messenian War. The people were again 
reduced to serfdom. For three hundred years 
they remained in a state of abject dependence 
upon the wills of their conquerors. Their 
history during this long period is known only 
in connection with that of the dominant state. 
Their territory * was annexed to Laconia, 
whose limits were thus extended across Pelo- 
ponnesus from sea to sea. The supremacy of 
the Spartan oligarchy was thus completely 
established in all the southern portion of the 
peninsula. The adjacent parts of Arcadia 

were also brought under their sway, and as 
far north as the gulf of Corinth there were 
none left, except the Tegeans, courageous 
enough to dispute theii* leadership. 

The city of Tegea, however, situated in 
the south-eastern portion of Arcadia, deter- 
mined to fight for independence. The people 
were brave and had a warlike history. Twice 
they had already measured spears successfully 
with the Spartans. In the reign of Charilaus, 
nephew of Lycurgus, the Lacedsemonians had 
marched against Tegea, but were disastrously 
defeated. Their king and all the survivors 
of the battle were captured. In B. C. 580, 
the Spartans again invaded the territory and 
were again routed. The prisoners were taken 
and enslaved, being obliged to toil in the very 
chains which they had brought for the Te- 
geans. The latter thus maintained their in- 
dependence for thirty years. In B. C. 560, 
however, the struggle was renewed by the 
Spartan kings, Anaxandrides and Ariston. 
The Delphic oracle sent the Spartans a me* 
sage that they should be successful when they 
secured the bones of Orestes, son of Agamem- 
non, now buried at Tegea. This feat was ac- 
complished by a stratagem, and the relics 
were carried in triumph to Sparta. Then the 
tide turned against the Tegeans. They were 
defeated in several engagements, their city 
was taken, and themselves reduced to depend- 
ency. In this case, however, the conquering 
stat^ preferred the alliance rather than the 
enslavement of the people, and Tegea was 
spared the fate of Ira and Itbome. 

The Spartans also succeeded in annexing 
the district of Cynuria to their territories. 
This province had belonged to Argos, and the 
attempt of that city to recover their possession 
brought on war. It was agreed between the 
two states that the question should be decided 
in a single combat between three hundred 
chosen warriors on each side. The picked 
force of Argives and Spartans went into batf» 
tie, and so fierce was the fight that only two 
of the former and one of the latter were left 
alive. The two Argives, believing themselves 
victorious, bore the news to Argos, but the 
Spartan remained on the field, stripped the 
bodies of the dead, and claimed the victory. 



Thereupon the annies of the two states 
inarched out and fought a decisive battle, in 
which the Argives were defeated. Othryades, 
the Spartan who had survived from the pre- 
vious conflict, slew, himself in despair because 
he was left alive. Cjmuria remained to 
Sparta, and Argos no longer dared to oppose 
any impediment to the will of the conqueror. 

Meanwhile, in other parts of Greece, im- 
portant political changes had taken place, by 
which the form of the government in most of 
the states had been altered to what is known 
as a despotism. In all of the commonwealths 
except Sparta the kingly office had been 
abolished. Indeed, in such small states the 
institution of royalty could not flourish, for 
the king was seen and known as a man rather 
than as a ruler. At his death his son some- 
times succeeded to his power, but was fre- 
quently limited to a term of years. The next 
step was the choice of some nobleman or 
chief, who, with the title of Arehon^ exercised 
the same authority hitherto possessed by 
the king; but the officer so chosen was not 
recognized as having a dignity much above 
that of his fellow nobles. So the government 
virtually rested, after the abolition of royalty, 
in the hands of the few, and was designated 
as an oligarchy^ dbtinguished on the one side 
from kingly prerogative, and on the other 
from democracy. 

Such was the general political condition at 
the middle of the seventh century B. C, 
when a new factor appeared in Greek politics. 
This was the despot. He generally came in 
the character of some leading citizen, who by 
espousing the cause of the people gained suf- 
ficient power to overthrow the oligarchy and 
make himself ruler of the city. He was gen- 
erally designated by the Greeks themselves by 
the name of Tyrant, but the Greek sense of 
that word is so difierent from the English 
equivalent as to make the word Despot, or 
Master, a better translation. As a rule the 
despot arose from the ranks of the artisans, 
but sometimes a noble would take advantage 
of hb position to become a popular leader. 
The authority of such a ruler when once 
established was generally exercised in an ar- 
bitrary and tyrannical manner, and not infre- 

quently the Greeks had cause to deplore the 
revolution by which such a system of govern- 
ment had been substituted for the oligarchy. 
In such cases the hatred of the people for 
their own tool who had now become their 
master was intense, and this led to the next 
step in the political evolution, namely the 
substitution of democracy for the despotism. 

It will readily appear that Sparta, wherein 
the old form of kingship had been retained 
by the Lycurgian statutes, was naturally thrown 
in her sympathies on the side of the oligar- 
chies of Greece, as against th^ despotisms and 
the growing tendencies towards democracy. 
The oligarchy stood next to royalty, and in 
the light of this fact the conduct of the Spar- 
tan government in its numerous interferences 
in the afiairs of other Greek states must be 
interpreted. Such interference became a ne- 
cessity of the situation, made so by the natu- 
ral desire of the Spartans to maintain a pre- 
ponderating influence throughout Greece. 

Just west of the isthmus of Corinth was 
the city of Sicyon. Like the other states, 
Sicyonia had been under the oligarchical form 
of government; but in B. C. 676, a popular 
leader named Orthagoras arose, and a despot- 
ism was established instead. The primitive 
population of the country, who had never been 
exterminated by the Dorian conquerors, sup- 
ported Orthagoras, and he was thus enabled 
to fix his tyranny so firmly that the dynasty 
lasted for a hundred years. The last of the 
line was Clisthenes, who was famed in his 
time for a victory won in a chariot race at 
the Olympic games. He (iied in B. C. 560, 
and leaving no son the despotism became 

A similar tyranny flourished in a)rinth for 
seventy-four years. It began its career with 
the overthrow of the Bacchiadfie in B. C. 655, 
and was established by C3rpselus. He was 
himself descended from the nobles, but es- 
poused the cause of the popular party. After 
conducting the government well for thirty 
years, he left it to his son Periander, who was 
greatly detested for his cruelty and exactions. 
Nevertheless, it was under his iron rule that 
Corinth became one of the leading cities of 
Greece — a place which she held for several 



centuries. The tyrant patronized art and 
letters, and invited the most learned men of 
his times to his court. After reigning for 
forty years he was succeeded by a. relative, 
Psammetichus, who reigned four years, and 
with him the dynasty perished. 

The despotism in Megara was established 
by Theagenes, in B. C 630. He appeared in 
the asual way as a leader of the people, over- 
threw the oligarchy, and made himself master 
o{ the state. After holding authority for 
thirty years, he was driven from the guveru- 

tion to the close of the sixth century B. C. 
Meanwhile a stat« had arisen in Central 
Greece who)^ fame was destined to be ever- 

The story of the founding of A^ens by 
Cecrops has already been given. From tiat 
time uutil the age of Solon, who gave to the 
state its constitution, the history of Attica 
contains only traditions. Oue of the principal 
of these is the consolidation by Theseus of the 
twelve districts into which Cecrops had di- 
vided the peninsula. Another is that of ths 

ment, but his party punished the offense by 
despoiling the homes of the nobles. An edict 
was passed by which all existing debts were 
canceled, and the rich made to refund the 
interest which they had received on loans. 
These actions, however, so exasperated the 
party of the nobles that the latter rallied a 
strong force and the party of Theapenes was 
suppressed. The oligarchy was reoftablished, 
and remained as the fisod form of government 
for several generations. Such, then, was the 
general course of events in Peloponnesus from 
the establishment of the Lycurgian coiistitu- 

-Drawn bf H, Vogel. 

abolition of royalty. In the time of the Do- 
rian invasion of Attica the Delphic oracle 
gave answer to the invaders that they would 
be successful if the life of the Athenian king 
was spared. The uame of that ruler was 
CoDRUS, Hearing the report of the oracle, he 
di.'^guised himself, went before the walls of 
Athens, provoked a ([uarrel with the Dorian 
soldiers, and permitted himself to be killed. 
Learning what they had done the Dorians 
broke up their camp and retired from Attica. 
The Athenians, in joy for their deliverance, 
declared that no one was worthy to succeed 



Codrus in the government, and accordingly abol- 
ished the office of royalty, substituting there- 
for the arehondiip. The right to be Archon, 
however, was for the time limited to the fam- 
ily of Codrus. Eleven members of that family 
succeeded one another in the government, 
and then, in B. C. 752, the office was limited 
to a period of ten years. Thirty-eight years 
later the restriction to the family of Codrus 
was removed and the archonship thrown open 
to all the nobles. The next step in the road 
to democracy was taken in B. C. 683, when 
the office was limited to one year's duration, 
and distributed to nine persons ibstead of one. 
Of these nine, however, one continued to be 
the chief archon and the rest associates. None 
but the nobles were eligible to the archonship ; 
80 that the government of Athens was peace- 
ably transferred from royalty to oligarchy in 
the same manner as in the states of Pelopon- 
nesus. As yet the people had no voice in 
the direction of public affiiirs. 

The class-distinctions of the Athenian pop- 
ulace were arranged^-so says tradition — by 
Theseus. There were three castes: the Eupor 
tridoB, or nobles; the Oeomoriy or husband- 
men; and the Demiurgi, or artisans. The 
first exercised all the political and religious 
rites of the people; the husbandmen tilled 
the soil; the artisans plied their respective 
crafts; but neither wielded any considerable 
influence in the affiiirs of state. 

From the institution of the annual archon- 
ship, in B. C. 683, the more authentic history 
of Athens begins. Of the nine archons who 
were then appointed instead of the one who 
had held authority p«.3viously, one was the 
President, called Archon Eponymm; for the 
year took its name from him. He was the 
representative of the State, and decided all 
matters of public importance. The second 
archon was called BasUem; and to him was 
committed the oversight of Religion, The 
third bore the title of Polemarch, and com- 
manded the army. The remaining six were 
called TheeTnothetodt or legislators. The con- 
stitution of the Court of Areopagus, or Sen- 
ate of Athens, has already been described. Such 
was the character of Athenian political society 
in the .times preceding the legislation of Solon. 

The government of the oligarchy was se- 
vere and arbitrary. There were no written 
laws, and the precedents of the state were 
not well established. It was withal a govern- 
ment of partiality, administered by the nobles 
for the nobles. After about a half a century 
the public discontent became so great that a 
nobleman named Deiaco, of whose previous 
history but little is known, was appointed to 
draft a code of written laws. The work was 
undertaken in B. C. 624. The lawgiver 
adopted the constitution of Athenian society 
as it was, and gave his attention almost 
wholly to the question of crime and its pun- 
ishment. His laws were characterized by ex- 
treme severity. All crimes were punishable 
with death I The theory was that a petty 
theft deserved death, and for murder no 
greater penalty could be affixed. It was said 
that his statutes were written in blood. Per- 
haps, however, the code was as merciful as 
the spirit of the age ; for the age cared noth- 
ing for the sacredness of human life. 

The code of Draco was of little utility. 
Violence and discontent continued to prevail 
to such an extent as to prevent the growth 
and endanger the stability of the state. After 
a few years of trouble a revolution was un- 
dertaken by the malcontents headed by Cy- 
lon, one of the Eupatridse. He was the son- 
in-law of Theagenes, the tyrant of Megara, 
from whom he learned the lesson of despot- 
ism as a cure for public troubles. Obtaining 
from the Delphic oracle an answer which he 
regarded as favorable, he seized the Acropolis 
and undertook to maintain himself against the 
authorities of the city, but he was soon over- 
thrown and driven from the country. Many 
of his adherents were hunted down and were 
slain even at the very altars of the gods where 
they had taken refuge. 

This act of sacrilege, however — done as it 
was by the orders of Megacles, one of the 
archons — terrified the people to such a degree 
that the family to which Megacles belonged 
was put under the ban and their trial de- 
manded by the court But the offending 
nobles could not for the time be brought to 
justice, and the confusion in the state grew 
from bad to dangerous, until Solon persuaded 



the fiunilj of the AlcmCBdonid®, to which Me- 
gadee belonged, to submit their cause to triaL 
The court adjudged them guilty, and they 
were banished from Attica. Still the Athe- 
nians were terrified at the imagined anger of 
the gods, and a plague in the city was attrib- 
uted to the vengeance of those whose altars 
had been profaned by the shedding thereat 
of human blood. Nor could the public mind 
be quieted until, at the suggestion of the 
Delphic oracle, the Cretan sage Epimenides 
was brought to Athens to purify her from 

In this business, which resulted in produc- 
ing comparative quiet, the gidding hand of 
Solon again appeared. To him the people of 
the city began to look as ix) one who by his 
wisdom and prudence was able to save the 
state fit)m anarchy. This remarkable man 
was bom in the year B. C. 638. He was on 
his fisither's side descended from Codrus, and 
by his mother was related to Pisistratus. In 
youth he learned a trade, and afterwards 
traveled as a merchant in Ghreeoe and Asia. 
He was a poet of no mean ability, and while 
yet comparatively young was reckoned as one 
of the Seven Wise Men of his country. Re- 
turning from his travels, he became interested 
in public affiurs, and soon acquired a great 
reputation for probity and learning. In B. C. 
600 he rendered the state most valuable ser- 
vice by commanding the Athenian expedition 
for the recovery of Salamis, which had re- 
volted to Megara. After a tedious struggle 
the deciuon of the question was left to the 
arbitration of Sparta. Solon went thither as 
the ambassador of Athens, and managed the 
cause so skillfully as to obtain a judgment in 
fietvor of his country. Soon afterwards his 
fiune was further heightened by the influence 
which he wielded over the Amphictyonic 
Council in inducing that body to declare war 
against the town of Cirrha, thus precipitating 
the Sacred War. 

At the age of Solon the Athenian common- 
wealth embraced three classes of citizens. 
These were first the Pedim, or wealthy class, 
who, living mostly in the open country in 
and about Athens, were designated as The 
Plain; second, the Diacriif or poor people 

of the hilly districts, who were called Ths 
Mountain; third, the Paralif or mercantile 
class, living mostly on the sea-coast, and 
known as The Shore. These classes wei6 
arrayed against each other politically, and a 
reconciliation of their interests seemed impos- 
sible. The poor were in great distress. The 
rich had loaned them money, and had charged 
exorbitant rates of interest Both the prop- 
erty and the person of the debtor were mort- 
gaged to the rapacious creditor. Payment 
was in most instances impossible. Many of 
those who had been bankrupted had become 
the slaves of those whom they owed. Others 
had been actually sold to barbarians. The 
materials of a disastrous insurrection were 
ready to be fired by the first spark of agitation. 

The oligarchs became alarmed, and ap- 
pealed to Solon for aid. "They knew that he 
had the ^confidence of the Mountain and the 
Shore, as well as their own. In B. C. 594 
he was chosen archon, and was authorized to 
exercise unlimited powers in rerlodeling the 
constitution of the state. All parties accepted 
his appointment as an earnest of reform. 
Such was the universality of hb influence 
that he might easily have usurped all the 
functions of the government, overtiirown the 
oligarchy, and made himself master of Athens ; 
but his virtue was equal to his ability, and he 
rebuked those who tempted him to such a 
course. He entered upon his work without 
the least bias of personal ambition. 

As a preliminary measure he abolished all 
the laws of Draco except that relating to 
murder. He then divided the people into 
classes, according to their property assessment 
This division was made the basis of the new 
political system ; for a man's right to political 
preferment rested henceforth on the amount 
of property of which he was possessed. As a 
measure of present relief, he canceled all 
mortgages which had been given on the score 
of interest. Debtors sold into slavery were 
set free. The lands of the state were freed 
from encumbrances. The power to mortgage 
the person for debt was annulled. No general 
abolition of debt was attempted; but, as a 
measure of relief, the standard of the coinage 
was lowered about one-fourth, so that the new 


olyer mina contaioed but seventy-three parts 
in a hundred of its former value. It was 
found that Solon himself was a loser by this 
measure; for he had loaned five talents, 
which were pud back in units of the lower 

In the property division of the citizemi the 
fiivt class was made to consist of those whose 
annual incomes were in excess of five hun- 
dred measures of com. These were called the 
PenUuimcmedwBm.. The second dan embraced 

other classes in numbers, being the common 
people of Attjea. 

As to public honors, all the higher offices, 
including the archonship, were reserved for 
citizens of the first class. The inferior office* 
however, might be held by persons of die 
second and third classes. Citizens of the 
fourth rank might hold no public trust what- 
ever. But these discriminations were counter^ 
balanced by a just distribution of burdens. 
An income-tax was levied on the first three 

■11 whose incomes ranged between three hun- 
dred and five hundred measures. They were 
called the Kni^, from the &ct that each in 
tht^ rank was conindered able to furnish a 
war-horse to the state. The third class was 
made of those whose annual revenues were 
between two hundred and three hundred 
measures of com. Those belonging to this 
class were called Zewjiia, from the fact that 
each was reckunod able to own a yoke of 
oxen. The fourth rank embraced all whose 
incomes amounted lu less than two hundred 
measures. The members of this class were 
designated as Thetet, and were in excess of the 

classes, but the fourth class was ezempL 
Citizens of the second and third ranks we*« 
subject, as well as the first, to military service, 
the second furnishing the cavalry and the 
third the heavy-armed foot. The ligbt-armed 
troops were furnished by the fourth rank. 
The disqualificatiou of the commcn people ibr 
holding office was compensated by the right 
of suffiage. The right to vote in the pnblic 
assembly was conceded to the Thetes, who, 
being in the majority, might control the elee- 
tion of the archons and other officers; and 
since the archon, at the end of his year of 
office, was subject to prosecution before the 



aasemblj for his public acts, the check of th^ 
Fourth Estate upon the administration of 
affairs was very salutary. 

As a counterpoise to this enlargement of 
the Assembly, Solon instituted a Senate, or 
Council of Four Hundred, with whom all 
matters of discussion in the popular body 
must originate. The senators were elected by 
the Assembly, and in turn presided over its 
deliberations. Like the archons, they held 
office for a year, and were amenable at the 
end of the term for their conduct. The old 
Court of Areopagus was retained by Solon, 
but additional duties were imposed upon it 
Besides its ancient powers, it was given a gen- 
eral supervision of the laws and the duty of 
supervising the lives and occupations of the 

In the punishment of crime the legislation 
of Solon was merciful. The thief must re- 
turn double the value of the thing stolen. 
Slander of either the living or the dead was 
prohibited. Foreigners were invited to settle 
in Attica. The father must teach his son 
some useful trade or run the risk of being 
left uncared for in hb old age. He who took 
a prize in the Olympic or Isthmian games 
should be rewarded and honored. He who in 
case of a civil sedition stood aloof and took 
no sides was devoid of public spirit and should 
be disfranchised. 

When the Constitution was completed it 
was inscribed in rollers and tablets and depos- 
ited in the Acropolis. Solon acknowledged 
that the work was imperfect, but held it to be 
the best that the Athenians were able to bear. 
When the task was completed, he bound the 
Athenians by an oath to keep his statutes for 
ten years, and then, to avoid the annoyance 
of those who were sure to want alterations 
and amendments, he went abroad as a trav- 
eler. He visited Egypt and Cyprus, and in 
the latter place was honored with the found- 
ing of a new town named Sdi^ in his honor. 

Afterwards he went to Sardis and made the 
acquaintance of Croesus. It was on this occa- 
sion that the celebrated interview occurred 
which has been so much repeated for its lesson. 
Crcesus, desiring to make an impression on his 
visitor, took him into his treasury and showed 

him his riches. He then inquired of the im* 
passive philosopher whom he considered the 
happiest man he had ever seen. Solon, after 
some little reflection, named two obscure 
Greeks whom the Lydian had never heard o£ 
Mortified at being unable to extort a compli- 
ment, Croesus expressed his disgust, but Solon 
explained that no man can well be accounted 
happy until his life is ended, since the vicissi- 
tudes of human affiurs may soon bring even 
the proudest to the level of the beggar. For 
the time the lesson made no impression on the 
proud monarch; but in after years, when his 
kingdom was overturned and himself, a pris- 
oner, was about to be burned to death by the 
orders of Cyrus the Great, Croesus in his an- 
guish cried out the name of Solon. Cyrus 
inquired upon what god the condemned was 
calling, and was told the story of the philoso- 
pher's interview and saying. The lesson was 
so well suited to the Persian king that he or- 
dered Croesus to be liberated and made him 
his friend. — It is unfortunate that* this story 
is mythical rather than authentic. 

After ten years Solon, in B. C. 562, re- 
turned to Athens. He found a very un- 
happy state of circumstances. The Shore, the 
Mountain, and the Plain could not be recon- 
ciled. At the head of the three parties stood 
Megacles, one of the Alcmseonidse ; Pisistratus, 
a cousin of Solon; and Lycurgus, a wealthy 
Athenian. The second of these partisan chieft 
had by far the greatest influence. He was 
an able general, an accomplished orator, and 
a demagogue. He espoused the cause of the 
Mountain, not for the Mountain's sake, but 
for his own ; for he was ambitious to become 
master of Athens. His plans were already 
well matured when Solon returned to Athens. 
The latter attempted to dissuade Pisistrajtus 
to desist from his ambitious schemes, but fail* 
ing to influence him, he next addressed the 
people of the city in poems, directed to the 
political dangers which menaced Ae state. 
These also were ineffectual. Meanwhile, a 
crisis was precipitated by Pisistratus. Hav- 
ing wounded himself and hacked his chariot 
mules until they were bloody, he drove to 
the market-square and showed himself bleed- 
\ ing to the people, whom he told that the Plain 



had attempted to kill him for defending pop- 
ular liberty. A tumult followed. The strat- 
agem was successful. The people ran to- 
gether in an assembly, and agaiust the protest 
of SoIoD, voted Pisistratus a body-guard of 
fifty men. He gradually increased the num- 
ber, and when sufiicieDtly strong seized the 
Acropolis and made himself master of the 
city. It was expected that Bolon would be 
banished or put to death, but Pisistratus 

tures to Pisistratus, to whom he proposed to 
give his daughter in marriage. A scheme 
was concocted for the return of the exiled 
tyrant It was arranged that a tall and beau- 
tiful woman, named Phya, should go to hin 
and accompany his return in the character of 
Pallas Athene I So the factitious goddess 
mounted the chariot beside the despot and 
rode into Athens, the awe-dtruck people 
looking on in wonder at the prodigy, and 

treated bim with kindness, and even solicited 
his advice in matters of administration. But 
the old sage did not long survive. He died 
in B. C. 558, and his ashes were, according 
to his will, sowa in the island of Salamis, which 
he had won in his youth for Athens. 

After the osurpation of Pisistratus the 
other leaders, Lycurgus and Megacles, were 
for a time driven from the city. Soon, how- 
ever, they combined gainst him, and he in 
turn was driven into exile. But the Shore 
and the Plain could not long agree. The 
leaders quarreled, and Megacles made over- 

quietly permitting Pisistratus a second time 
to usurp the powers of the state. 

The tyrant married the daughter of M^i^ 
cles, but soon treated her with contempt. He, 
offended at this, abandoned Pisistratus, and 
again made common cause with Lycui^^us. 
After a brief struggle the despot was agun 
driven off. His exile in Eubcea lasted for ten 
years, but at the end of that time he crossed 
over into Attica, collected his partisans at 
Marathon, defeated the forces of his rivals, 
and a third time made himself supreme in the 
city. The pardon which he offered to thoae 



who had opposed him was generallj accepted, 
and those who did not accept were exiled. 

The government of Pisbtratus during the 
Third Tyranny was firm and severe. He 
maintained his autbonty by means of a band 
of Thracian mercenariL llie chUdren of 
those who were suspected of plotting against 
him we^e seized and sent to Naxos. But in 
the matter of exactions his rule was milder 
than that of the oligarchy. He kept the stat- 
tutes of Solon without alteration, and was 
himself obedient to the law. He won the 
applause of the Fourth Estate by throwing 
open his gardens to the poor of the city. He 
adorned Athens with public buildings. He 
encouraged art and literature. He establbhed 
the first public library in Greece, and laid all 
the world under obligation by the collection 
of the Homeric poems. For thirty-three 
years he kept Athens in a state of tranquillity 
which she had never known before. Dymg, 
he bequeathed the government to his two 
sons, Hippias and Hipparchus, and they, in 
B. C. 527, began an administration of the 
same character as that of their father. Hip- 
parchus was the more noted of the two. He 
promoted literature by maintaining at his 
court the poets Anacreon and Simonides. To 
his time belongs the setting up of the Hemuz, 
or small statues of Hermes, which were placed 
along the streets and in other places to denote 
boundaries, and by the inscriptions which 
they bore to remind the people of moral obli- 

Matters were going well in the government 
until a private feud led to ..^n. assassination 
ot Hipparchus. A certain Harmodius, hav- 
ing given offense to the two rulers, Hippias 
sought revenge by a public insult to his sister. 
Harmodius and his friend Aristogiton deter- 
mined to appease their anger by killing both 
of the governors. At the festival of the 
Panathensea they stood with daggers hid in 
their myrtle leaves waiting their opportunity. 
But Hippias was seen conversing with one 
who was in the secret, and the conspirators 
believed themselves betrayed. They, how- 
ever, made a rush on Hipparchus and cut him 
down ; but Hippias escaped. He immediately 
arrested those who were found to be in the 

conspiracy, and they were either executed or 
banished. This was but the beginning of a 
career of cruelty. Many citizens were con- 
demned on mere suspicion. The taxes were 
increased, and the whole body of the people 
grievously oppressed. There were loud mut- 
terings of discontent, and the exiled family 
of the Alcmseonidffi made an effort, though 
without success, to overthrow the government 
of Hippias. Finally, however, through the 
influence of the Delphic oracle, the Spartans, 
though hitherto friendly to the family of 
Pisistratus, were induced to interfere against 
the Athenian tyrant. Their first attempt 
ended in failure, but in a second invasion of 
Attica, Hippias was defeated and obliged to 
go into exile. He fled to Sigeum, on the 
coast of Asia Minor, and became a fruitful 
source of disturbance in the relations between 
the Greeks and the Persians. The expulsion 
of the tyrant was regarded by his countrymen 
as a deliverance from thralldom and oppression. 

At this time Clisthbxes, the son oTMega- 
cles, appeared in the theater of Athenian poli- 
tics. The Spartans, after expelling Hippias, 
had left the people to their own ways. It was 
Clisthenes who had by his strategy won over 
the oracle to declare against the fiunily of 
Pisistratus. To him Athens now looked for 
further assistance. He came as the leader of 
the popular party, and was opposed by IsAO- 
ORAS,. who was backed by the nobles. Ac- 
cording to the statutes of Solon the First 
Estate had a monopoly of the highest oflices, 
and this fact gave the advantage to Isagoras. 
But Clisthenes laid the axe at the root of the 
tree by proposing a change in the constitu- 
tion, by which the Third Estate should be 
admitted to a share in the government. It 
was the beginning of the Athenian democracy. 

As a measure precedent to the contemplated 
change, the four classes, or castes, into which 
the Athenians had been divided were abol- 
ished, and the whole body of the populace 
distributed into ten new tribes. Until this 
time great nuinbers of residents in Attica had 
not had the rights of citizenship, from the 
fact that they had never been classified with 
either of the four estates. The Clisthenian 
plan proposed that all should be included in 



the redistribution of the population. By this 
plan the aggregate citizenehip of the state was 
vastly increased in numbers, and the increase 
nearly all went to the credit of the democracy. 
The new distribution was not based upon 
class-distinctions, but on territory, the only 
trae basis of political division. The territory 
of each tribe was called a deTne, and every 
person living within the district was obliged 
to enroll himself as a citizen. Each deme 
managed its local affiurs in its own way, 

transfer the government from archons, or 
governors, to the people, and to substitute for 
the close and arbitrary methods of the oligarchy 
the open discussiona of a public assembly, 
thus preparing the way for the age of Pericles. 
The military arrangement was based upon 
the tribal distribution. Each tribe elected its 
own general, so that ah Alhenian army was 
generally commanded by ten officers of equal 
rank. The old rank of polemarch, however, 
was retained from the Umes of the archonsfaip 


and had its own magistrate, called the 

Another change introduced by Clisthenes 
was the enlaJ^ment of the senate to five 
hundred members, or fifty from each tribe. 
The powers of the body were also multiplied, 
BO that a good share of the administration of 
the state was included in its functions. It 
sat the year around, and was preuded over 
by the senators in turn. The Eoclesia, or 
Assembly, met forty times a year, and was 
also presided over by certain senators detailed 
for that duty. The general effect of the 
whole movement directed by Clisthenes was to 

to the date of the Persian wars. It will 
readily be seen that the efficiency of an 
Athenian army would depend rather upon 
valor and discipline than upon generalship, 
for no generalship could well be developed 
under a system which required each command- 
ing officer to be general for a day and to give 
place to another on the morrow. 

The condition of affairs in Athens was now 
such as to afford unusual opportunities for the 
ambitious citizen to become Grst a demagogue 
and then a despot. As a counterpoise against 
this danger, Clisthenes introduced the 0<tra- 
eitm. The plan was, in brief, to banish by a 



popular vote for a period of ten years any 
one who might be considered dangerous to the 
state. The method was this. K the Senate 
and Ecclesia should first decide that the state 
was menaced by a citizen, the question was 
submitted to the people. Each citizen who 
iesired to vote wrote the name of the person 
whom he wished to have banished on an o«<racon, 
or oyster-shell, and dropped it into the urn. 
If, when the shells were counted, it was found 
that six thousand votes had been cast against 
any person, the measure was carried as to him. 
No special charge need be preferred against 
the person considered dangerous. He was 
allowed no opportunity of trial or defense. 
The only cheering symptom of his case was 
that he might return without serious dispar- 
agement at the end of his term of condemna- 
tion, or might be recalled at any time by the 
same power which had condemned him to 
banishment. None the less, the abuses of 
such an arbitrary and extraordinary system 
were fewer than might have been expected. 
As a matter of fact, it was not easy to get six 
thousand free citizens to vote for the exile of 
another free citizen unless they thought that 
there were good grounds to suspect his pa- 

The constitution proposed by Clisthenes 
greatly heightened his reputation with his 
countrymen. His rival, Isagoras, was driven 
to the unwise extreme of inviting foreign in- 
fluence to counteract what he himself could 
not successfully oppose. So he sent word to 
the Spartan king Cleomenes that one of the 
accursed family of the Alcmseonidse was mas- 
ter of Athens, and invoking his aid to secure 
the expulsion of Clisthenes. The Spartan 
accepted the invitation and marched a force 
into Attica. But Clisthenes, seeing himself 
the cause of trouble to his country, retired 
from Athens before the arrival of Cleomenes. 
The latter, however, attempted to undo the 
new constitution. He reduced the Senate to 
three hundred men, and then expelled seven 
hundred families of those who were the prin- 
cipal supporters of the recent statutes. These 
proceedings so angered the people that they 
took up arms, drove Cleomenes and Isagoras 
into the citadel, and compelled them to sur- 

render. Clisthenes came back on the riung 
tide, and the Spartan king was allowed to re- 
tire in disgrace. Isagoras went into exile, 
but many of his leading adherents in Athens 
were put to death. The reaction was so 
strong as to secure the complete establishment 
of the new constitution as the fundamental 
law of the state. 

It was not to be expected that Sparta would 
tamely bear the recent humiliation of her king 
by the Athenian democrats. Clisthenes clearly 
foresaw that Cleomenes would renew the con* 
flict at the earliest practicable moment. He 
accordingly determined to strengthen himself 
by a foreign alliance. Messengers were sent 
to Tissaphernes, satrap of Lydia, requesting 
his support for Athens in the expected struggle 
with the Spartans. The message was kindly 
received by the Persian governor, who re- 
turned answer that if the Athenians would 
send earth and water as tokens of submission 
to the Great King he would defend them 
against their enemies. The messengers ae* 
cepted the terms, but on their return to 
Athens the conditions were repudiated with 
proper disgust. 

Meanwhile, Cleomenes called together his 
allies from Peloponnesus, and marched a large 
force into Attica to Eulusis. The Spartan 
kept to himself as long as possible the des- 
tination of the expedition, and when he was 
finally obliged to divulge his purpose the 
Corinthians refused to proceed. His colleague 
Demaratus also opposed the further prosecution 
of the campaign. So the whole movement 
fell to pieces. Unfortunately for themselves, 
the Thebans and Chalcidians of Euboea had 
been induced by Cleomenes to join in the 
movement against Athens. That city now 
found herself free to punish the defection of 
those from whom she had a right to expect 
friendship and had received enmity. She ac- 
cordingly sent a force against Thebes and in- 
flicted upon her a severe defeat. Thence 
marching into Euboea, the Chalcidians were 
still more severely dealt with. Their estates 
were confiscated and divided among four 
thousand of the Athenian poor. 

These marked successes of Athens so fired 
the jealousy of the Spartans that tiiey deter- 



mined to make a third effort to undo the 
democratic institutions of their rival. The 
tyrant Hippias was sent for from Sigeum, 
and coming to Sparta represented to her 
assembled allies the great benefits from his 
restoration to authority. But the Corinthians 
refused, as before, to have any thing to do 
with the enterprise. They denounced the 
system of despotism which Sparta would 
establish in Athens as a wicked and bloody 
thing, and the other allies were scarcely less 
outspoken in their denunciations. Further 
interference with Athenian affairs had to be 
abandoned, and Hippias returned to his exile, 
first at Sigeum and afterwards at the court of 
Darius. Athens thus relieved of her perils, 
pursued her own course under the auspices of 
democracy, and was not long in taking the 
foremost rank among the cities of Greece. 

Up to this point in their history a general 
view of the progress of the Greek states 

would show them pursuing independent ca 
reers and tending to antagonisms rather than 
to unity among them^jelves. The final causes 
of this condition have already been referred 
to as existing in the peculiar country which 
the Greek tribes settled and the spirit of free- 
dom and individuality peculiar to the race. 
As long as these primary forces of develop- 
ment were left free to work out their own 
results the Grecian commonwealths preferred 
a certain local completeness to any possible 
union of the Hellenes in one nation. It was 
only when this excessive individuality was 
overcome by the presence of a common dan- 
ger that cooperation was rendered possible 
and unity considered a good. The time came, 
however, when such a danger, appeared im- 
minent and overwhelming, and it will be the 
purpose of the following chapter to recount 
the heroism of the Greeks in the shaddw of 
the peril. 


T will be remembered that 
the ambition of Darius 
the Great led him into 
an expedition against the 
Scythians inhabiting the 
great plain between the 
Don and the Danube. 
The circumstances of that campaign have 
already been narrated in the History of the 
Persian Empire.* In the conduct of the in- 
vasion the king was in many things depend- 
ent upon the Greeks of Asia Minor, especially 
those living on the shores of the Hellespont. 
The course taken by the expedition was deter- 
mined by the advice of one of the Grecian 
generals, and the bridge of boats by which 
Darius crossed into Europe was built by 
Greek carpenters, and it was at the sugges- 
tion of the same friends that the bridge was 
left standing to insure an easy return if the 
Persians should meet with disaster. It will 
also be recalled that while Darius was prose- 

»See Book Sixtr.. ;. 360. 

cuting the campaign a body of Sc3rthian8 
came suddenly to the Hellespont, reporting 
that the Persians were defeated, and urging 
the guards of the bridge to burn it down, 
make common cause with themselves, and 
overwhelm the invaders. This advice was 
seconded by Miltiades, an Athenian, now 
despot of the Thracian Chersonesus, and many 
of the Ionian Greeks favored the same policy ; 
but Histiseus of Miletus supported the king, 
reminding the Ionian governors that if their 
master was destroyed they would perish with 
him. This view prevailed. So Darius on 
his return found a safe exit from the perila 
that were gathering around him. 

Megabazus was left with an army of 
eighty thousand men to finish the work on the 
Hellespont. He quickly reduced ihe rem- 
nant of the Greek cities which had not 
yielded to Persia, and then, in B. C. 510, 
carried his conquest through Thrace to the 
borders of Macedonia. From this point he 
sent an embassy to Amyntas, the king, de- 



manding earth and water, and these were im- 
mediately sent. This proceeding extended 
the limits of the Empire to Thessalj, so that 
any further enlargement in that direction 
would involve a direct conflict with the Eu- 
ropean Greeks. Meanwhile, however, His- 
tiffius fell under the suspicion of Megabazus, 
who induced Darius to summon him to Susa. 
Once there, he was detained under the pre- 
text that the Persian king could not spare the 
society of so refined a gentleman. The Greek 
was soothed by permission to appoint his son- 
in-law, Anstagoras, as ruler of Miletus in his 

There now followed a few years of calm 
until a mere spark, struck from the rocks of 
Naxos, fired a universal conflagration. This 
island, in B. C. 502, was the scene of a pop- 
ular insurrection by which the oligarchical 
party was overthrown and exiled. . The lead- 
ers went to Miletus and applied to Aristago- 
ras for help. The latter readily consented,' 
but feeling himself unable to take up the 
enterprise alone, he sent to Artaphemes, the 
Persian satrap of Lydia, to furnish the means 
of restoring the oligarchs, assuring him that 
by good management the limits of the Em- 
pire might thus be stretched across the Cyc- 
lades and made to include even the large 
island of Euboea, lying in sight of the main- 
land of Greece. 

The very flattering overture was eagerly 
caught by the Persian. A fleet of two hun- 
dred ships was equipped and the command 
given to Aristagoras. A large land force, 
commanded by Megabates, was put on board 
with the exiled oligarchs, and the expedition 
weighed anchor for Naxos. At Chios the 
fleet made a brief pause, and here the com- 
manders quarreled. Megabates was so en- 
raged at the conduct of Aristagoras that he 
sent a message to the Naxians and warned 
them of their danger. The latter immedi- 
ately put their city in a state of defense; 
and after a four months' siege, the forces of 
Aristagoras were obliged to withdraw in dis- 
grace. The commander, on reaching Miletus, 
found himself in a condition so critical that 
he meditated an abandonment of the Persian 
cause and a revolt of the Greek cities as the 

best means of saving himself from ruin. At 
this juncture a message came from Hisdsens 
urging the very course which Aristagoras was 
on the eve of adopting. So the latter at once 
called together the m^istrates of the city, 
explained his purposes, resigned his authority, 
and suggested that the other Greek cities 
should be at once advised to throw ofi* their 
despots and the Persian yoke with them. 
This popular impulse rolled like a wave down 
the coast of Asia Minor. Every city became 
inflamed with the hope of freedom, and in 
B. C. 501 a general declaration of indepen- 
dence of Persia was adopted. 

The Asiatic Greeks were wise enough to 
know that they had undertaken a contract 
which must be rendered valid by an indorse- 
ment of blood. Aristagoras at once repaired 
to European Greece to solicit alliances. Go- 
ing first to Sparta, he laid the great cause 
before Cleomenes, but the latter could not be 
induced either by patriotic considerations or 
by bribes to undertake the cause of the re- 
volted cities. In Athens, however, Aristago- 
ras met with a difierent reception. Here he 
found an abundance of sympathy, and the 
assembly promptly voted an armament of 
twenty ships to aid the cause of the lonians.^ 
The city of Eretria furnished five ships, and 
the fleet repaired to Asia Minor. In the follow- 
ing spring Aristagoras, thus reenforced, began 
a march into the interior of Lydia. Sardis 
was taken and burned by a handful of 
Greeks, mostly Athenians; but to maintain 
themselves in so distant a part was impossible. 
A hasty retreat from the scene of their au- 
dacity was all that remained for them to da 
They were foUowed by the avenging Persians, 
and before they could reach the cities on the 
coast were severely punished for their daring 
deed of invasion. 

When the news was carried to Darius in 
his palace at Susa, he gave way to rage. He 
called for his bow and shot an arrow high in 
air, and called on the gods to give him 
vengeance. He had never heard of the Athe- 
nians and made inquiry who they were. He 

* This is the act which is declared by Herodo- 
tus to have been the ** beginning of mischief be- 
tween the Greeks and the barbarians." 



commanded an attendant to call out to him 
three times a day, **Lord, remember the 

It soon became apparent that the Asiatic 
Greek towns could not maintain themselves 
'n the unequal struggle. The Phoenicians 
furnished the Persians with fleets. The revolt 
in Cyprus was soon suppressed. The Ionian 
chies fell one after another. Aristagoras 
abandoned the cause and was killed in Thrace. 
In the meantime the crafty Histi^eus per- 
' suaded Darius to send him into Ionia to help 
the Persian generals. Artaphemes, however, 
was not deceived, and openly accused the 
Greek of having made a shoe for Aristagoras 
to wear. Histiseus, however, escaped to the 
island of Chios and offered his services to 
the Greeks; but all were suspicious of him. 
Finding himself an object of universal distrust 
he turned pirate, and sailed with eight Les- 
bian galleys towards Byzantium. He preyed 
on whatever he could find on land and sea 
until finally he was overtaken on the coast of 
Mysia. Being carried to Sard is, Artaphemes 
had him crucified and his head sent to Darius. 
The Great King seeing the pallid visage of 
the man who had once saved his life, showed 
his own humanity by having the bloody trophy 
honorably buried. 

Several of the Greek cities still held out 
against the Persians. Chief of these was 
Miletus, which was besieged by a large army, 
as well as on the side of the ^gean by a 
Phoenician fleet. The Greeks knowing them- 
selves to be strongest as sailors gathered their 
forces from the various towns and embarked 
them on ships. Their armament numbered 
three hundred and fifty-three vessels while 
that of the Persians counted six hundred sail. 
But the latter were wary of their antagonists 
and stood ofiT from battle. The Greek fleet 
lay by the shore at Sade, near Miletus. The 
exiled despots, now on board of the Persian 
ships, knowing the rivalries and dissensions 
existing among the Greeks, became the secret 
agents of overtures made to them for peace 
on terms advantageous to all who would sail 
away and return to their allegiance. At first 
these overtures were refused by all ; but when 
the Samians saw the jealousies and conten- 

tious which prevailed to the extent of destroy- 
ing all discipline, they renewed the negotia- 
tions and agreed to withdraw in case of a 

The Persian fleet now no longer forbore 
to attack, and when the fight began the Sa* 
mians, according to promise, sailed out of line 
and bore away. They were followed first by 
the Lesbians and then by others until the 
hundred brave ships of Chios were left to 
contend alone. These were soon overpowered 
and destroyed. Miletud was soon afterwards 
taken, and resistance to Persian authority was 
at an end. Those who had been engaged in the 
revolt were treated with the utmost severity. 
Some were put to death, some sold into sla 
very, and some deported into foreign parts. 
The cities declined in wealth and population. 
A new survey of the country was made and 
a tribute assessed upon each of the districts 
for the benefit of the Persian treasury. 

Shortly after the suppression of the Ionian 
revolt, the Persian king sent his son-in-law, 
Mardonius, to succeed Artaphemes as satrap 
of Lydia. His government included the 
provinces recently in insurrection. To him 
Darius gave a large armament, with instruc- 
tions to seize and take to Susa those Athe- 
nians and Eretrians who had assisted in the 
Ionian rebellion. Mardonius, in B. C. 492, 
set out on this mission. He had a strong land 
force and a large fleet. He proceeded down 
the coast of Thrace and Macedonia, and 
ordered his ships to join him below Mount 
Athos. But while doubling this dangerous 
promontory a storm arose, which destroyed 
three hundred vessels and twenty thousand 
men. Soon afterwards Mardonius was him- 
self defeated by the Brygians, a race of white 
Thracians, who slaughtered a large part of 
his army. He was glad to make his way back 
into Asia, covered with disgrace. 

Darius now determined to undertake the 
conquest of Greece in person. In order to 
ascertain the temper of the Hellenic states he 
sent heralds to each, demanding earth and 
water. All complied except Sparta and 
Athens. The authorities of the former city 
threw the messenger of the Great King into 
a well, and the Athenians cast the herald into 



a pit and bade him take his earth and water 
from there. At this time Athens was at war 
with iEgina. The iEginetans were of those 
who sent tokens of submission to Darius. 
The Athenians now called upon Sparta as the 
leading Grecian state to punish the people of 
iE^ina for deserting the cause of the country. 
Cleomenes, the Spartan king, readily took up 
the cause, and, proceeding against the ^gine- 
tans, seized ten of the leaders and gave them 
to the Athenians as hostages. 

Meanwhile, in the spring of B. C. 490, 
the preparations of the Persians being com- 
plete, Darius began his invasion of European 
Greece. A vast army was assembled in 
Cilicia. The fleet which was to accompany 
the expedition numbered six hundred galleys, 
besides the transports. The command was 
given to the Median Datis and Artaphernes, 
a son of the former satrap of Lydia of that 
name. Their instructions were to conquer all the 
Greek states that had not already made their 
submission, and to take special vengeance on 
Athens and Eretria by burning them to the 
ground and selling the inhabitants into slav- 
ery. Manacles were prepared and sent to the 
commanders, with which the Greeks were to 
be bound and led into captivity. The dreams 
of the Persian were not troubled by any 
specter prophesying failure. 

The expedition of Datis and Artaphernes, 
departing from the coast of Asia Minor, pro- 
ceeded across the JEgean by way of the 
Gyclades. Naxos was taken and its principal 
city reduced to ashes. All the other islands 
submitted, nor did the Persians meet any op- 
position until they came to Euboea. Eretria 
bravely defended herself for six days, and 
was then taken through the treachery of two 
citizens, who opened the gates. The city was 
burnt, and the principal inhabitants put into 
chains, according to the command of the king. 
It only rerimined for Datis to cross the strait 
and do Plkewise to Athens and her imperti- 
nent democracy. 

Here was the rub. For the Athenians had 
prepared for the crisis such means of resist- 
ance as seemed most likely to stay the deluge. 
According to the custom, ten generals had 
been chosen to command the army. Of these 

the men of greatest ability were Miltiades, 
Themistocles, and Aristides. The first was 
the same previously mentioned as that despot 
of the Thracian Chersonesus, who advised the 
destruction of the bridge of the Hellespont in 
order to secure the destruction of Darius. In 
the struggle of the Persians and the Ionian 
cities Miltiades had taken the side of his 
countrymen, and had captured Lemnos and 
Imbros from the enemy. After the revolt of 
the Greek cities had been suppressed he fled 
to Athens for safety. 

As soon as the Athenians heard of the de- 
struction of Eretria they sent a courier to 
Sparta imploring assistance.' The Spartans 
returned a favorable answer, but the moon 
was now near her full, and they could lend 
no aid until after the change! Such was 
their custom. The Athenians took their 
station at Marathon and awaited the onset. 
Five of the generals desired to delay until 
after the arrival of the Spartans, but the 
other five wished to fight at once while the 
spirit of the people was up to the point of 
battle. Finally the polemarch, Callimachus, 
who, retained by the old statutes of the oli- 
garchy, now constituted the eleventh officer, 
gave his vote for an immediate engagement, 
and it was agreed by all that Miltiades should 
have supreme command until the issue of th6 
conflict should be determined. 

At this critical moment a thousand Bcso- 
tians from the little town of Platsea arrived 
as a voluntary reenforcement of their country- 
men. Miltiades could now muster ten thou- 
sand men of heavy armor, besides a few light- 
armed troops, who were not of much moment 
in battle. The Persian army numbered one 
hundred and ten thousand. 

The plain of Mabathon lies on the coast, 
at the distance of twenty-two miles finom 
Athens. It is a tract semicircular in shape, 
defined at each extreme by a promontory 
reaching into the sea. Between these two 
head-lands the plain stretches along the shore, 
a distance of six miles. Its greatest breadth 

^The messenger who carried the petition ci 
Athens to Sparta on this occasion was Phidippides. 
He is said to have run the whole distance of a 
hundred and fifty miles in forty-eight hours I 


from the sea to the mountaias is, near the 
center, about two miles. The Persians were 
arranged along the shore, and the Chreeks 
Btood on the opposite aide of the plaio about 
the middle, backed by the hilla. Seeing the 
impossibility of giving strength to so long a 
line with so small a force, Miltiades massed 

a run. They traversed the mile of interven- 
ing space and fell like two thunder-clouds on 
the astonished foe. The battle raged furiously. 
Both wings of the Greeks drove the enemy 
before them, but the center, b(ting weak, was 
in turn broken through by the Persians. As 
soon, however, aa Miltiades peit«ived himself 


his troops in the two wings. He gave com- 
mand of the right to Callimachus, and placed 
the contingent of Platteans on the left. Thus 
at last the Hellenes stAod face to face with 
the Medea and Persians, long regarded as the 
Invincible soldiery of the East. 

Miltiades, anxious for battle, gave the or- 
der for the onset. The Greeks advanced on 

victorious on the flanks, he recalled his wings 
and fell upon the Persian center. Here were 
the best troops of Datis's army. -It was 
already late in the afternoon. The sun look- 
ing over the hills of Greece flashed his full 
beams in the face of her foes, Afler a sharp 
resistance they broke and fled under such on- 
sets as they had never felt before. Iliey wer« 



pursued to the beach, where their ships saved 
them from annihilation. As it was, six 
thousand four hundred of their soldiers lay 
dead on the field. The Athenians attempted 
to fire the fleet, but only succeeded in de- 
stroying seven vessels. The rest made their 
escape, carrying the Persians with them. The 
Athenian loss was one hundred and ninety-two 
men, but among these was the brave pole- 
march Callimachus, whe here gave his life for 
the freedom of his country/ 

Just at the close of the battle a bright but 
traitorous shield was seen raised aloft on a 
distant mountain in the direction of Athens. 
It was a signal for the Persian fleet to sail 
thitherward and take the city before the 
soldiers of Miltiades could return to her de- 
fense. It was noticed, moreover, by the 
Greeks that the vanishing armament departed 
in the direction of Cape Sunium. Accord- 
ingly, Miltiades marched with all haste to- 
wards the city. His conjectures were correct ; 
for just as he- arrived the Persian fleet hove 
in sight. But when the army of Datis, about 
to debark, saw before them the same dusty 
heroes from whom they had so recently fled 
at Marathon, they could not be induced to 
land. They turned their prows instead to the 
shores of Asia Minor, and the ^gean soon 
rolled between Athens and her peril. 

Marathon was to the Greek what Bunker 
Hill is to the American. After the battle the 
Athenians gave themselves up to raptures. 
The day became historic. Poetry brought her 
magic song and imagination her legends to 
add to and hallow the remembrance of a deed 
so great. It was said that Theseus reappeared 
in the battle. At night ever afterwards, the 

* It is not wonderful that the genius of Byron, 
on viewing Marathon, broke forth in an unusual 

" The battle-field where Persia's victim horde 
First bowed beneath the brunt of Hellas' sword. 

As on the morn to distant glory dear. 
When Marathon became a magic word, 
Which uttered, to the hearer's eye appear 
The camp, the host, the fight, the conqueror's 
career — 


The flying Mede, his shaftless, broken bow; 

The fiery Greek, his red pursuing spear ; 
Mountains above, earth's, ocean's plain below. 

Death in the front, destruction in the rear!" 

old heroes of Athens marshaled their hosts in 
the clouds, and the noise of invisible warriors 
shouting to the charge, the uproar of chariots 
and horses, and the moHns of dying spiritB, 
could be heard above that haunted, glorious 

Miltiades became the hero of the day, No 
mark of honor or gratitude was omitted. 
Besides the great tumulus or mound which 
public patriotism and afiTection reared over the 
one hundred and ninety-two immortals who fell 
at Marathon, a separate monument was erected 
on the field to the memory of Miltiades. His 
influence became unbounded ; but he seems to 
have belonged, after all, to that type of heroes 
who are able to bear adversity better than 
success. The memory of an old resentment 
rose within him, and forgetting his great- 
ness, he asked the Athenians to give him an 
armament of seventy sail without explaining 
his intentions. When the fleet was voted, he 
sailed away to the island of Paros and at- 
tacked th6 capital city; for against a leading 
citizen of that place he harbored a grudge of 
many years. But the Parians defended them- 
selves with such vigor that Miltiades was 
about to despair of success when a priestess in 
the temple of Demeter promised him success 
if he would visit the temple by night. In 
attempting to do so he wounded himself on 
the wall, and was barely able to reach his 
ship. In this miserable condition he was 
obliged to return to Athens. He could give 
no honorable account of himself or of the use 
which he had made of his country's fleet. 
Charges were preferred against him, and he 
was brought in with his gangrened wound 
and laid before the judges. It wys asked that 
he be condemned to death, but such a sen- 
tence could not be obtained against the hero 
of Marathon. He was severely punished by a 
fine of fifty talents, but before the sum could 
be raised he died of his injury. 

The next important event in the career of 
Athens was her war with ^gina. For a long 
time there had been between the city and this 
island a feeling of suppressed hostility. In 
B. C. 506 the jEginetans had given aid to 
the Thebans in a strife with the Athenians, and 
had even invaded the territory of Attica with- 



out a declaration of war. These acts were 
laid to heart by the city; and when iE^na 
made haste to abandon the Greek cause by 
sending earth and water to the Persian king, 
the feeling of resentment against her was 
greatly increased. It will be recalled that 
Cleomenes, one of the Spartan kings, had, on 
account of this act of the ^ginetans, and at 
the instigation of Athens, gone to the island 
and inflicted a severe punishment. After the 
battle of Marathon the authorities of iEgina 
demanded back the hostages which they had 
been compelled to give to the Athenians, and 
the refusal of the latter to do so led to a dec- 
laration of war. Hostilities were vigorously 
waged on both sides, but the conflict had not 
long continued until Athens discovered the 
great disadvantage at which she was placed 
by having no navy. It was clearly impossi- 
ble to carry on a successful war at sea, or 
with a country lying in or beyond the sea, 
without the employment of a fleet. The little 
island of jEgina was able, in the present con- 
dition of aflairs, to look across the Saronic 
gulf and laugh at Attica. Moreover, it was 
seen by the wise, and especially by Themisto- 
CLB8, who had now become the political leader 
of the Athenians, that it was only a question 
of time when the Persian king would renew, 
on a still more Tormidable scale, the attempt 
against Orecian freedom. The prudent states- 
men of the city discerned in this remote dan- 
ger far greater ground of apprehension than in 
the petty imbroglio with the iEginetans. 

So Themistocles introduced in the assembly 
that important measure by which the whole 
current of Athenian history was changed — the 
proposition to, build a large fleet for the pro- 
tection of the state. It was fortunate that 
the treasury of Athens was now in a condition 
to warrant the proposed action. The silver 
\nines of Laurium had recently 
largely that a surplus was at the disposal of 
the city, and a proposition was actually pend- 
ing at the time to distribute the same among 
the citizens. Themistocles took advantage of 
all these facts in the advocacy of his measure, 
and had the good fortune to secure its passage. 
It was ordered that a fleet of two hundred 
vessels be at once built and equipped at pub- 

lic expense, and to thb was added another 
clause that hereafter twenty ships should be 
annually added to the navy. 

Thus was Greece made ready for the com- 
ing storm. For Darius was nursing his 
wrath for a final explosion. In the interval 
between the battles of Marathon and Sala- 
mis— -a period of ten years — the public afiairs 
of Athens were directed by Themistocles and 
ARisrroES, two of the greatest Greeks. The 
first owed his preeminence to talent and pol- 
icy ; the second, to integrity. In the adapta- 
tion of means to ends and in that fitr-sighted 
discernment by which the plans of men and 
states are penetrated and laid bare, the palm 
must be awarded to Themistocles; but in 
soundness of moral perception and undevi- 
ating conformity to the right as the best 
means of reaching the desired object, Aristi- 
des stands first among the Greeks, if not 
among all the statesmen of antiquity. He 
was named the Just, and posterity has not 
challenged the title. 

Such was the then condition of Athenian 
society that these two eminent men were 
brought into constant antagonism. Themis- 
tocles was the progressive and Aristides the 
conservative leader. They broke heavy lances 
over the question of building the fleet. Aris- 
tides held that to do so was to change the 
habits of the people to the injury of the state. 
He urged that the heavy armed soldiers were 
a better protection in Oreece than any number 
of ships, and that out of Oreeee the Athenians 
had no business to be engaged in war. But 
the logic of events was against him. Not 
only did the arguments of Themistocles pre- 
vail with the assembly and senate, but the 
public voice was so strongly against Aristides 
that the ostracism was turned to his down&ll 
and he was sent into exile. This act of the 
Athenians left Themistocles without a rival, 
and in this attitude of leader he stood in the 
hour of the most tremendous crisis that Greece 
had ever witnessed. 

For Darius had not forgotten Athens. 
How he spent years in preparing the ava- 
lanche which was to fall upon and overwhelm 
the impudent cities of European Greece ; how 
the Great King, when his preparations were 



well-nigh completed, was surprised and de- 
tained by a revolt in Egypt, and how ere this 
was suppressed he suddenly died— ;has been 
narrated in the preceding pages. ^ And how 
Xerxes, inheriting his father's hatred of the 
Greeks, coming to the throne in the full flush 
of early manhood, and receiving the vast 
array of men and ships already marshaled 
and equipped by Darius, determined to pros- 
ecute the great scheme of Grecian subjection, 
has been recounted in the same connection. 

To make sure of an easy and expeditious 
advance Xerxes sent forward His builders to 
construct a bridge of boats across the Helles- 
pont, and his diggers to cut off the neck of 
Mount Athos. By the one structure he would 
make his way with dignity from Asia into 
Europe, and by the other work would secure 
a safe passage for his fleet from the Stryraonic 
into the Singitic gulf. The constr*v;tioa of 
the great bridge and the dramaiic passage of 
the Hellespont by the countless hosts of the 
Persians have been heretofore described in 
the History of Persia, and need not be here 

After he had traversed for some distance 
the coast line of Thrace the king paused in 
the plain of Doriscus to number his forces. 
The enumeration and method of making it have 
already been given in Book Sixth, to which 
the reader is referred once for all for an ac- 
count of the Persian progress from Sardis to 

The fleet kept in close relation with the 
land force as far as the canal which had been 
cut by the king's command, but after making 
the passage was ordered to double the two re- 
maining promontories of Sithonia and Pallene 
and rejoin the army at the city of Therma, 
now Thessalonica, on the coast of Macedonia. 
After passing Olympus, Xerxes entered a 
country not hitherto subdued to his authority, 
and from this point the invasion proper began. 

The Greeks, meanwhile, were on the alert 
to repel as well as they might the terrible host 
which was rolling down upon them. A con- 
gress of the states was called to meet at Cor- 
inth, with a view to uniting the whole race in 
an effort to save their native land from de- 

»See Book Sixth, p. 362. 'Ibid. pp. 3US, 5«.4. 

struction; but the meeting was unsaccessftd. 
To most of the cities it seemed preposterous 
to attempt to resist the Persians. Many sent 
earth and water. Only a few would attend 
the congress. Some of these opposed defens- 
ive measures and withdrew. The whole 
brunt of protecting the Hellenic world against 
the barbarians fell on Sparta and Athens. In 
all Central Greece only the Athenians and 
Phocians and the people of the two small 
towns of Platsea and Thespia in Boeotia stood 
firm for the defense of native land. Such 
states as Thebes, with its grudge against 
Athens, and Argolis, with its deep-seated an- 
tipathy to Sparta, witnessed the approach of 
Xerxes with indifference, if not with pleasure. 
Neither the distant states nor the colonies 
sent any aid to those who had determined for 
the sake of Greece to throw themselves across 
the path of th^ invader. 

The Athenians in this emergency behaved 
with great magnanimity. They effected a recon- 
ciliation with the people of -^gina, and thus 
gained the cooperation of their fleet. They 
conceded to the Spartans the supreme com- 
mand in the ap))roaching conflict. Themisto- 
cles, both in the congress and the field, waived 
his claims in favor of his allies. The two 
states bound themselves in a solemn covenant 
to resist to the death, and it was agreed that 
in case of success one-tenth of the property 
of every Greek city that had refused to sup- 
port the national cause should be consecrated 
to the Delphian Apollo. 

All preparations being completed, it was 
determined to meet the enemy in the pass of 
THERMOPYi/iE. Where Mount QEta comes 
down to the sea, pressing for the distance of 
a mile the morass along the margin of the 
Malian Gulf, and barely leaving space at 
the entrance and exit for the passage of a 
wagon road, lay the defile through which the 
Persian host must pour into Central Greece. 
The place was defensible in the highest de- 
gree. The narrow strait of Euboda, lying be- 
tween the island of that name and the main- 
land, could easily be blockaded by an inferior 
fleet, and the enemy be thus prevented from 
carrying troops to the southern extremity of 
the pass. It was thus provided by nature 



that a small but resolute band of men might 
be able to stand for an indefinite time in the 
&ce of an overwhelming foe. 

The fleet of the allies, under command of 
the Spartan Eurybiades, now sailed to the 
north of Euboea and took its station ofiT Cape 
Artemesium. At the same time a small body 
of troops was sent to occupy the pass of 
Thermopylffi. It was the eve of the celebra- 
tion of the Olympic games, and the people of . 
Sparta, with that strange lumdudance for 
which the race is noted, preferred to attend 
to the. festival first and the Persians after- 
wards. It was believed that the handful of 
men already advanced to Thermopylae could 
hold the pass until, the games being over, the 
main body should arrive for their support. 

The advance which was thus sent forward 
to keep Asia at l)ay for a week consisted of 
three hundred Spartans, three thousand heavy- 
armed troops from the other states of Pelo- 
ponnesus, seven hundred Thespians, four hun- 
dred Thebans, one thousand Phocians, and 
about the same number of Locrians. With 
this force of nearly seven thousand men, Leon- 
id as, the young king of Sparta, who had been 
placed in command with the simple order to 
defend Thermopylae against the Persians, took 
possession oi the pass and awaited the onset. 
Having ascertained from the Phocians that 
there was a route over the mountains by which 
it was practicable for the enemy to make his 
way into Central Greece, he placed the Pho- 
cian contingent on the heights with orders to 
thwart any such movement should it be begun. 

With the approach of the Persians there 
was much trepidation among the Peloponnesian 
troops, and many desired to retreat to the 
isthmus of Corinth, and there make a stand 
at the doorway of Southern Greece; but the 
influence of Leonidas prevailed over such un- 
patriotic fears, and the battle began at the 
upper end of the pass. Here, when the Per- 
sians came in sight, they beheld a few Spar- 
tans running and leaping as if in sport, while 
others were combing their long hair as though 
preparing for a festival. Demaratus, the ex- 
iled Spartan king, who accompanied Xerxes 
on the expedition, explained to the monarch 
that this conduct on the part of his country- 

men meant that they were devoting themselves 
to death, and that notning might be expected 
except resistance as long as one man was left 

Not able to appreciate such strange conduct, 
Xerxes tarried four days, believing that the 
absurd project of defense would be abandoned 
and that the Spartans would disperse. At the 
end of that time he sent a demand to Leonidas 
to give up his arms. The true Laconic reply 
was, "Come and take them." When the 
Spartan was told that the Persians were so 
numerous that a discharge of their darts 
would cloud the sky, he answered, "That is 
good ; we shall fight in the shade I " 

On the fifth day a band of Medes was sent 
forward to clear the pass. They were killed. 
Others were sent forward, and were killed. 
Xerxes leaped up in rage and agony from the 
seat which had been prepared for him from 
which to witness the battle. The Immortals 
were ordered to the charge, and were cut to 
pieces. On the second day the scene was re- 
newed. Heap after heap of Persian slain 
was piled at the upper entrance to the 
pass. The darts of the barbarians feU harm* 
less on the bronze shields of the Spartans. 
The rage of the bafiied king knew no bounds, 
but just as he was about to despair .of forcing 
his way through, the secret mountain-path was 
revealed to him by a traitorous Malian, and 
he at once ordered his generals to begin an 
advance by that route. A large detachment, 
led by the informant, set out at nightfall. 
The Phocians who had been appointed to 
guard the path were alarmed at the unex- 
pected approach and retired to the heights. 
The passage of the Persians to the rear of 
Leonidas was thus unopposed. 

The Spartan called a council of war, and 
there was much division of opinion. The 
greater number favored a retreat while it was 
yet possible. The privilege of taking this 
step was freely conceded by Leonidas, but as 
for b:m and his Spartans there was but one 
courte to pursue. The laws and customs of 
their country did not permit them to abandon 
a post which had been committed to their 
charge. The order of the king was specific 
he was to defend the pass. That he* would do 



Death was nothing. The seven hundred 
Thespians resolved to share the fate of such a 
leader and his men. The four hundred The- 
bans who had been obliged to join the expe- 
dition rather as hostages than as soldiers were 
detained to face an unwilling death. The 
remainder retired from the pass and escaped. 

As soon as Xerxes supposed that the de- 
tachment sent over the mountains had reached 
the southern entrance to the pass, he ordered 
a renewal of the attack. Leonidas and his 
comrades now advanced into the open space 
and fought like lions. Every man became a 
hero, and before each one was a heap of Per- 
sian dead. By and by, as the Persian hosts 
were thrust forward by those in the rear, the 
heroic ranks began to thin. Their lances 
were broken, and they were obliged to take 
their swords. They were beaten back inch 
by inch. Every man kept his face to the 
foe. They retired within the pass and gained 
possession of a hillock, where they huddled to 
die together. The Thebans begged for quar- 
ter, and explained that they fought against 
their, will. They were spared. Around the 
remnant on all sides the Persians closed rank 
on rank. It was the ever-narrowing circle of 
doom. Javelins were showered in their faces 
by thousands. Man by man they sank and 
perished. Not. one remained alive from the 
glorious sacrifice. Persia had another taste 
of Hellas. 

On the hillock where the heroes died a 
marble lion was set up in honor of Leonidas — 
fit emblem of his valor. The inscription said : 
''Four thousand Poloponnesians here fought 
with three millions of the foe." Another 
couplet, intended for the Spartans, ran thus: 

" Go, tell the Spartans, thou that passest by, 
That here obedient to their laws we lie." 

In the meantime, the Greek fleet under 
Eurybiades had had a terrible battle with the 
Persian armament at Artemesium. Before 
tha engagement, however, a great storm driv- 
ing shoreward had struck the enemy's fleet 
while anchored at Aphetse and wrecked no 
fewer than four hundred ships. Still, they 
were so much superior to the Greeks in num- 
bers — the latter having but two hundred and 

seventy-one vessels — that it was with difficulty 
that Eurybiades and Themistocles induced 
their captains to hazard battle. As a pre- 
cautionary measure they withheld the attack 
until nearly nightfall, so that in case of dis- 
aster they might have the advantage of dark* 
neas. But the onset of the Greek ships was 
successful, and when night fell the advantage 
lay with the allied fleet. Nevertheless, so 
great was the apprehension of the sailors that 
the use of Euboean gold in the hande of The- 
mistocles was that night necessary to keep 
the armament steady for the work of the 

During the night, however, another violent 
storm arose and wrought such fearful havoc 
with the Persian fleet — at the same time in- 
juring the Greeks but little on account of 
their sheltered position — that in the morning 
the enemy declined battle. In the course of 
the day a squadron of fifty-three additional 
ships from Athens arrived as a reenforcement, 
and the spirits of the Greeks, fired by good 
omens and encouraged by home support, rose 
to a pitch of enthusiasm flaming for the 
fight. On the following day the Persian fleet 
formed a semicircle and bore down for battle. 
The Greeks, in order not to be surrounded, 
supported themselves by the shore. Through 
the whole day the conflict raged furiously. 
The Persians did not surrender the mastery 
of the world without a struggle worthy of a 
better cause. Their overwhelming force of 
ships and sailors gave them the advantage 
even against the superior valor of the Greeks. 
At nigthfall the Persians had lost most ships, 
but the allied fleet had suffered so greatly 
that it was deemed prudent not to continue 
the fight. At this juncture, moreover, news 
arrived of the fidl of Leonidas, and it was at 
once resolved to withdraw from the Euboean 
coast for the defense of Attica. So, during 
the night after the battle, the fleet fell back 
through the strait, doubled Cape Sunium, and 
anchored at Salamis. 

Notwithstanding the enormous losses which 
had been inflicted on the Persians, they were 
steadily bearing down for the accomplishment 
of their object. Attica lay open to invasion 
The fatal folly of the Spartans in neglectimt 


to send their vhole force to the north to stay 
the Persian advance at Thermopylie was now 
bearing its disastrous fruit in the exposure of 
Southern as well as Central Greece. Several 
cities hitherto wavering now went over openly 
to the enemy. Xentes was only six days' 
march from Athens. Themistocles ui^ed the 
people to gather together their effects and 
abandon the city. The advice was accepted 
with reluctance; but the Delphic oracle 
added its voice to the persuasion of the 
Athenian leaders. The Sacred Serpent kept 

money. The Areopagus voted funds to n- 
pair the fleet and to support the emigrant 

On his way down from Tfaessaly Xerxes 
ravaged the country. Fhocb was severely 
punished for her refusal to submit Her de- 
serted towns were destroyed and her people 
driven to the hills. The patriotic cities of 
Thespite and Platiea were plundered and 
burned. At Delphi occurred an extraordi* 
nary episode. Apollo, by his oracle, forbade 
the removal of the treasures of his temple. 


in the temple of Athene Polias, on the Acrop- 
olis, left the altar and escaped. So the terri- 
fied people were induced to follow. Some 
went to M^ina, others to Tnezen, many to 

The Delphic oracle had said that a " wooden 
wall " should protect the Athenians. Albeit, 
a wooden wall might mean the fleet. So 
the oracle was interpreted by Themistocles. 
Others stud it meant the walls of Athens. 
Not all of the people would leave their homes. 
For once dissension ceased. On the proposi- 
tion of Themistocles all sentences of banish- 
ment were revoked. The rich gave their 

On came the Persians to lay sacrilegious hands 
on . the accumulated gifts of centuries of de- 
votion. They began defiling through one of 
the gorges at the foot of Mount Parnassus, 
making their way towards the temple. Of a 
sudden there were peals of thunder overhead. 
Great crags were loosened from their places 
and rolled down upon the terrified ranks of 
the barbarians. The gods had espoused the 
cause of the Greeks. Spectral warriors of 
gigantic stature were seen hovering with re- 
vengeful look in the rear of the terror-stricken 
host as it turned to fly from its profane pup- 
pose of plunder. 



In Athens a few desperate persons seized 
the Acropolis and determined to defend it. 
When Xerxes reached the city he found the 
stronghold surrounded by wooden walls, but 
these he soon fired with burning arrows. The 
hill was presently carried and its defenders 
slaughtei-ed. The temple and other buildings 
situated there were sacked and burned. The 
city was pillaged and given to the flames. 
The Persian had remembered Athens; but it 
was noticed that in the space of two days the 
sacred olive-tree on the Acropolis suddenly 
thrust forth a green shoot a cubit in length. 
Athene saw- her city in ashes, but spoke by 
the olive branch the promise that she should 
arise from her despair and ruin. 

Meanwhile, the Persian fleet, re-collecting 
its energies after the dubious victory of Arte- 
mesiuro, sailed into the bay of Phalerum. 
There were still more than a thousand ships 
spared from the vengeance of the sea and the 
prowess of the Greeks. In opposition to this 
immense squadron the allies could number 
but three hundred and sixty-six vessels, of 
which two hundred were Athenian galleys, 
and the rest from the confederate states. As 
soon as Xerxes reached the coast he inspected 
his fleet and held a council of war. It was 
determined to make an immediate attack 
upon the Greek armament and at the same 
time to send forward the land forces towards 
Peloponnesus. This decision was reached 
with great unanimity by the Persian com- 
manders,, only Queen Artemesia, of Halicar- 
nassus, opposing the views of the majority. 

On the other side there were dissensions 
among the Greeks. The Peloponnesian com- 
manders were eager to abandon Salamis and 
sail southward for the protection of their own 
coasts; but Themistocles with great vehe- 
mence urged the necessity of fighting where 
they were. He showed the great importance 
of giving battle in the narrow strait where 
the superior numbers of the Persians would 
give them but little advantage. Nevertheless, 
the opposite opinion prevailed and it was 
voted to retreat. 

After the council Themistocles repaired to 
the ship of Eurybiades, and succeeded in 
winnmg him over to the idea of present 

battle. The commanders were again called 
together, and after some discussion were or- 
dered by £urybiade8 to prepare for action. 
Later in the night, however, news arrived 
from Sparta representing the distress of the 
people on account of the absence of the fleet, 
and begging for its return. The council was 
a third time convened, but Themistocles had 
now determined to accomplish by a stratagem 
what he could not eflect by argument He 
despatched a trusted messenger to Xerxes, 
and informed him that the Greek fleet was 
about to sail, and advising the Persian to 
divide hb squadron, send one-half around the 
island to the other extremity of the strait and 
shut up the Greeks in their present predica- 
ment. This advice was acted on by Xerxes; 
and before the adjournment of the council 
Aristides, returning from hb banishment, 
reached Salamb, came into the assembly, and 
informed the body that the Persian fleet now 
occupied both ends of the strait, and that 
they must fight or perish. The scheme of 
Themistocles had succeeded. 

With the morning Xerxes had a throne 
erected on Mount JEgaleos, opposite the bay 
of Salamis, and from this perch he would 
view the battle. Necessity had now brought 
the Greeks to their work, and with ardor they 
prepared for battle. Themistocles was in hu 
glory. The Greek seamen were early at their 
posts; nor were the Persians, now under the 
eye of their king, slow in preparing for battle. 
At the sound of the trumpet the allied fleet 
moved forward to the attack. Just about to 
engage the foe, however, they were seized 
with alarm and fell back to the beach. But 
then appeared above the ships a female 
figure, perhaps the august Athene herself, 
and waved them to the attack. The Athenian 
vessels thereupon bravely mad.e the onset, 
followed by the rest, nor was there any fur- 
ther wavering. All day long the fight con- 
tinued. The Persian fleet became more and 
more confused in the narrow waters, which 
afforded no room for evolutions. The ships 
were crowded upon each other and became 
helpless. The attacks of the Greeks grew 
constantly more audacious. The fisite of their 
country now depended on the blows which 



the; dealt upon tlie barbarians. Every ehtp 
that went to the bottom brought a revival of 
hope, a promise of freedom. As the sun sank 
low, victory declared for the Greeks. Two 
hundred of the Persian ships had been de- 
stroyed. Many more were captured. The 
whole bay WM covered with the wreck of 
A^. As the issue declared itself Xerxes, in 
the extremity of terror and despair, rose and 
fled. The residue of the fleet was scattered 
to .the winds. 

The episode of the battle of Salamis oc- 

landed on the island were attacked by a body 
of heavy-armed soldiers led by Aristides, and 
were destroyed to a man. The victory was 
complete, and the sun set on one of the most 
glorious days in Grecian history.' 

Xerxes, becoming concerned for his per- 
sonal safety, quitted the country with all 
haste. There was no need for such a flight; 
for his army was but little reduced in num- 
bers, and of his fleet there still remained a 
squadron much larger than that of the Greeks; 
but the king had enough of that peculiar 


cured when Artemesia, queen of Caria, who 
had tried to dissuade the king fi\>m risking 
all in the straits of Salamis, performed prodi- 
gies of valor in the fight. " My men are 
women to-day, and my women men," said 
Xerxes, as he beheld her bravery. Finally, 
turning to fly, she struck a galley commanded 
by one of her own countrymen, and sent both 
it and the crew to the bottom. The Greek 
commanders, seeing the deed and believing it 
to have been purposely done, allowed the 
queen to escape without pursuit. Id the 
meantime the Persian troops that had been 
N.-Vol. i-M 

glory which came of battles with the Greeks, 
and was eager to leav« the land which hia 
father had been so anxious to remember. 
Pressing forward as rapidly as he could 
through Bixotia and Tbessaly, he came, after 
a march of forty-five days, to the Helle^nt 

3 on the battle ol 

"A king sate on the rocky brow 

Which looks o'er sea-bom Salamis; 

And ships by thousands lay below. 
And men in nations; all were hist 

He counted them at break of day — 
And when the sun set where were theyt 



The guard which had accompanied him were 
reduced by famine and disease. Here the 
fleet had been ordered to congregate after the 
defeat at Salamis. The king found his ships, 
but the great bridge had been destroyed by 
the storms. He and his forces were carried to 
the opposite side, and were safe in Asia. 
And in the company there were no Athenians 
wearing fetters I 

As soon as the Greek commanders at Sala^ 
mis saw themselves victorious they began a 
pursuit of the Persian fleet This they kept 
up as far as the island of Andros. The peo- 
ple of many of the Cyclades had sided with 
the Persians in the recent struggle, and were 
now made to feel severely the folly of such a 
course ; for Themistocles punished them with 
Kttle mercy for their defection from the na- 
tional cause. From Andros onward the Persian 
armament pursued its course without molesta- 
tion to the Hellespont, where it received the 
king and a remnant of his forces, and carried 
them across to Asia. 

Xerxes did not regard his flight from 
Greece as an abandonment of the purposes 
for which the expedition was undertaken. 
Before determining his own course after the 
battle of Salamis, he held a conference with 
Mardonius, to whom he intrusted the com- 
pletion of the conquest of Greece. For this 
purpose three hundred thousand men were 
left under his command. Mardonius flattered 
hb master with the assurance that the reverses 
which he had suffered were but temporiiy 
checks to the general progress of subjugation, 
that one great object of the invasion — the de- 
struction of Athens — had been accomplished, 
that in the following spring he himself would 
complete the work, and that Xerxes might 
now retire from the country without dishonor. 
This specious theory of the results of the in- 
vasion had a soothing effect on the king, who 
gladly left his son-in-law behind to finish or 
be finished, and himself speedily returned to 
the ease of his own capital* His throne in 
the palace of Susa was an easier seat than 
that which he had filled for a day on the 
cliff* above Salamis! 

While the battle of Salamis was fighting, 
•nother conflict was raging between the 

Greeks of Sicily and the Carthaginians, who 
had invaded the island. The people of Sicily 
were like the Greeks of Hellas, divided into 
two parties. One of these favored the pre- 
dominance of Carthaginian influence in the 
island, while the other upheld the national 
spirit, favoring independence. A certain 
Terillus, governor of Himera, had been ex- 
pelled by Theron, the despot of Agrigentum. 
The deposed ruler and his adherents invited 
in the Carthaginians, who, in B. C. 480, 
came three hundred thousand strong under 
the lead of Hamilcar, and proceeded to be- 
siege Himera. But Gelon, the governor of 
Syi;^use, came to the rescue of the city with 
an army of fifty-five thousand troops, and 
with this force — comparatively small as it 
was — attacked and routed the Carthaginians 
with a loss, if we may trust Diodorus, of one- 
half of their army, Hamilcar being among 
the slain. The Carthaginian fleet was then 
set on fire and consumed. The victory of 
the Sicilian Greeks was, if possible, more com- 
plete than that which their countrymen were 
at that hour winning in the bay of Salamis. 

With the opening of spring the remnant 
of the Persian fleet in the JEge&n, numbering 
four hundred vessels, gathered at the island 
of Samos. At this time the Grecian squadron 
of one hundred and ten ships lay at ^gina ; 
but, notwithstanding the great disparity in 
the numerical strength of the two armaments, 
the Persians made no sign of a disposition to 
venture a battle. It was their business rather 
to keep a watch on the Ionian cities, which 
were again showing signs of insurrection. 

Meanwhile, Mardonius began his campugn 
for the completion of the conquest of the 
Greek states. His first measures were diplo- 
matic. He consulted the oracles of Bceotia 
and Phocis, and promulgated the idea of a 
Perso-Athenian alliance against the Spartans. 
Alexander, the then king of Macedonia, was 
sent to the authorities of Athens with flatter- 
ing overtures. Their city should be restored. 
Their territory should be extended. The king 
of Persia would become their friend. Sparta 
should be humiliated. The first place should 
be given to Athens. But the seductions of 
the foe were all in vain. Alexander was di«* 



misBed with words to the effect that his per- 
sonal safety would better be consulted before 
he became the bearer of another such a mes- 
sage to the Athenians. Bparta, however, was 
anxious, and sent envoys to counteract the 
dangerous temptations held out by the Per- 
sians. To these messengers Athens replied that 
all that was expected of Sparta was that she 
should send an army into Attica to help pro- 
tect the northern frontier against the coming 
attack of Mardonius. The envoys promised, 
then went home, and then, with their usual 
perfidy, pleaded adverse omens as a reason for 

In May of B. G. 479 Mardonius again 
advanced into Attica and occupied Athens. 
The people of the city retired as before to 
Salamis. From hence they sent a hurried 
embassy to Sparta, imploring aid against the 
common foe and intimating (what they 
never intended) that circumstances might 
compel them to accept the overtures of the 
Persians. No answer was returned for the 
space of ten days, and the Athenians were on 
the edge of despair, when the aged Chileos in 
the Spartan council reminded them that if an 
alliance should be effected between the Athe- 
nians and the Persians, the ships of the former 
might easily bring the whole army of the lat- 
ter into the heart of Peloponnesus. The 
Spartans were thrown into the utmost alarm 
by the suggestion, and a force of ten thousand 
men, besides a still larger body of Periceci 
and Helots, was at once dispatched into Cen- 
tral Greece. The command of this army was 
given to Pausanias, the Spartan regent for 
the son of Leonidas. 

Mardonius, seeing that diplomacy was use- 
less, destroyed what remained of Athens, and 
retiring into Bceotia took his station near the 
little town of Plat^ea. Here he laid off a 
camp a mile and a-quarter square, and forti- 
fied it with barricades. The Spartans, ad- 
vancing by way of the isthmus, were reen- 
forced by eight thousand Athenians, three 
thousand Megarians, and six hundred Platse- 
ans. The total force gathered for the battle 
numbered thirty-eight thousand seven hun- 
dred heavy-armed soldiers, seventy thousand 
Helots and other troops of light armor, and 

one thousand eight hundred Thespian 
amounting to about one hundred and ten 
thousand men. 

Crossing the range of Cithseron, the Greeks 
came in sight of their foe drawn up in ordei 
of battle. Having no cavalry, Pausanias 
occupied the rougher grounds and aimed to 
draw the Persian from the position which 
gave freedom to his horse. Mardonius or* 
dered a charge against his antagonist, and the 
same was bravely made. The Greeks suffered 
not a little from the onset, but were success- 
ful in killing Masistius, the commander of the 
cavalry. They threw his body into a cart and 
exhibited it along the lines! When the Persians 
fell back from the onset, Pausanias descended 
from the heights for a general battle on the 
grounds chosen by the Persians. The right 
wing, being the post of honor, was held by 
the Spartans, and the left by the Athenians. 
The little river Asopus lay between the two 
armies. Mardonius, with the best of the 
Modes and Persians, took his position in the 
left wing, so as to face Pausanias and his 
Lacedaemonians, the Persian right, numbering 
fifty thousand men, being allotted to the 
Greek allies of the enemy. Then there was 
a pause. Destiny from one side of the river 
glared in the face of Fate on the other. 

Both armies were reluctant to 'begin the 
contest For eight days each maintained its po- 
sition, fearing the awful hazard of the onset. 
Finally, Mardonius succeeded in cutting off 
the supply train of the Greeks, and captured 
five hundred of their beasts of burden in de- 
files of the Cithffiron. He was then advised 
to follow up this policy, and at the same time 
to try the effect of bribes upon the leaders of 
the Greeks. But Mardonius rejected the ad- 
vice and gave the orders for a general attack. 

On the following night an incident oc- 
curred highly illustrative of the spirit and 
disposition of the age and people. Alexander 
of Macedon stole out of the Persian camp in 
the darkness, rode to the Greek outposts, 
called for Aristides, and informed him of tne 
impending attack. As an excuse for his 
treachery, he added: **I am myself a Greek 
by descent, and with sorrow would 1 ««• 
Hellas enslaved by these Persians.** 



ArisUdea at once informed the generals of 
the Greeks of vhat might be expected on the 
morrow, and preparations vere made accord- 
ingly for the coming battle. Stil), vilh the 
morning dawn, each army hesitated to make 
the onset. Finally the Persian cavalry began 
the fight, and succeeded in cutting oif the 
Greeks from the fountaia of Gargaphia, 
#bich supplied the camp with water. This 
was the only important movement of the day. 

With the coming of night Pausanias gave 
orders for the Greeks to fall back a mile and a 

soon as the front line of the Persians had >& 
coiled from the shock, Pausanias gave the or- 
der to charge. The fighting became at onca 
general and desperate. The Permans exhib- 
ited unusual valor. They flung themselves 
with reckless courage upon the spears of tiie 
Spartans, only to be transfixed by the thou- 
sand. The invincible Lacedseraonian phalanx 
moved forward like an avaUoche in its work 
of destruction. It seemed a huge beast forti- 
fied on every side with bristling quills, ui^ing 
its way now to the right and now to the left. 


half to a position which he considered more 
&vorable for the battle. This change of po- 
siUoQ, however, was not accomplished without 
considerable confusion and dispute among the 
officers of the allied army. On seeing the 
Spartans in full retreat— a sight not often 
witnessed by a Persian general — Mardonius 
at once gave orders for pursuit. The Persians 
dashed across the Aaopus, ascended the hill 
recently occupied by the Greeks, and fell 
upon the Lacedaemonians, hastily but steadily 
deployed into line of battle. The onset made 
but little 'iupression on the Greeks, and a> 

trampling in the bloody dust the mangled 
bodies of the barbarians. Mardonius at- 
tempted in Ytaa to stay the batUe. At 
the head of his bodyguard of a thousand 
men, he fought with conspicuous bravery 
until he was pierced with a GrecuiD dart and 
fell dead from his charger. It was the rignal 
of the rout. 

The Persians, immemorially accustomed 
to attribute victory and defeat to their 
leader, broke and fled beyond the Awpus. 
So rapidly had the work of destruction bem 
accomplished by the allied army that a divi- 



rion of forty thousand Persians, commanded 
bj Artabazus, did not reach the field until 
after the rout. More panic struck, however, 
than his fellow-generals who had participated 
in the battle, he broke away without deliver- 
ing a blow, and fled in the direction of the 
Hellespont The allied Greeks, flushed with 
victory, pursued the main bou^ of the Per- 
sians to their fortified camp beyond the Aso- 
pus, stormed the barricades, and slaughtered 
the disorganized barbarian host till the whole 
area ran with blood. Barely in the annals 
of war had such a scene of carnage been wit- 
nessed as the infuriated Greeks enacted in 
this final arena of the great invasion. Such 
was the fearful destruction that of the three 
hundred thousand soldiers in the army of 
Mardonius, only three thousand or four thou- 
sand escaped with their lives. The sword of 
Hellas had pierced the heart of Asiatic 
pomp and the huge carcass of despotism was 
stretched upon the plain of Platsea, never to 
rise again. 

Ten days were consumed in dividing the 
spoils of the battle. The body of Mardonius 
was decently buried by Pausanias. The 
sword and silver-footed throne of the Persian 
commander and the breast-plate of Masistius 
were carried in triumph by the Athenians to 
Athens and deposited among the trophies of 
the Acropolis. Immense was the booty gath- 
ered from the field and camp. Every thing 
with which oriental luxury and magnificence 
could decorate an army was strewn for miles 
in the dust. Of this one portion was set aside 
for the Delphic oracle ; another share went to 
the temple of the Olympian Zeus ; and still 
another to the Isthmian Poseidon. Pausanias 
himself was largely rewarded from the wreck 
of Asia, and the remaining enormous aggre- 
gate of booty was divided among the allied 
forces in proportion to their numbers. 

Of all the Greek cities tRat had espoused 
the cause of the Persians, the most conspicu- 
ous in her treason to the national cause was 
Thebes. In the recent battle the Theban 
contingent had been posted by Mardonius op- 
posite the Athenians, and had fought with 
desperate valor. To punish them and their 
city seemed to the allies to be the first duty 

incumbent after the destruction of the Persian 
army. Accordingly the Spartans proceeded 
to ravage the Theban territory and besiege 
the city. A demand was made upon the 
authorities that those leaders who had led the 
people into the unnatural alliance with the 
Persians should be given up for punishment. 
When this was refused on the part of the 
city, the leaders made a voluntary surrender 
of themselves, expecting that a large ransom 
would procure their relief. It was a fatal 
mistake. For no sooner were they in the 
power of Pausanias than they were sent to 
Corinth and executed without trial. 

On the same day of the battle of Plat»a, 
which completed the wreck of the Persian 
army, the final destruction of the great fleet 
was accomplished on the coast of Asia Minor. 
After transferring across the Hellespont that 
remnant of the Persian army which accom- 
panied Xerxes on hb homeward flight, what 
remained of the Persian squadron from the 
havoc of Artemesium and Salamb dropped 
down the coast and anchored at the headland 
of Mycal^, near the city of Miletus. Thither 
they were pursued b/ the Spartan leader 
Leotychides ; but before his arrival, the Per- 
sians, rather than hazard another sea-fight 
with the victorious Greeks, drew their remain- 
ing ships ashore, surrounded them with a ram- 
part, and placed for their defense an army of 
sixty thousand Persians under command of 

The Greeks followed, came to anchor, made 
a landing, and immediately joined battle. No 
sooner were the first defenses of the Persians 
carried by the impetuosity of the attack 
than they turned and fled. They were hotly 
pursued into the principal fortification, which 
was soon carried by the assailants, though not 
without some desperate fighting. As soon, 
however, as the Spartan reserve came up 
and the Ionian Greeks in the army of Ti- 
granes mutinied in the ranks, the victory was 
completed. Tigranes and Mardontes, the 
other Persian general, were both killed; the 
fleet was burned to ashes, and as the coast 
wind scattered them along the shore and bay, 
the last fragments of the greatest expedition 
known in the annals of the ancient world 



were tossed into dust and obiivioo. The 
dreams of him who three times daily at his 
own command was remiDded to remember the 
Athenians, and the proud visions of his soa, 
cherished from the palace of 6usa to the 

Hellespont, and from the Hellespont to Tbea- 
saly, had been so completely dissipated that 
no ambitious ima^natioD of Orieotol king or 
general ever durst agun evoke them from 
the shadows. 

CHArrrER XLV.— The Athenian ascendency. 

general of the Greeks 
ver showed himself l^ss 
.b)e than Fausanias to 
■ear success with equa- 
limity. After the battle 
if Flatiea, he began at 
Qce to display his vanity, 
his insolence, hie disloyalty. He hired Si- 
monides, tiie poet, to attribute the victory 
solely to himself; and a like piece of vain- 
glory was manifested in an inscnption which 
he caused to be placed on a tnpod at the 
shrine of Delphi. Still he remained in com- 
mand of the Spartan army, and conducted a 
successful campaign against Byzantium. At 
the capture of this place, several members of 
the royal household fell into hb power. This 
fact furnished him with an opportunity to 
open negotiations with the Per^an court, in- 
volving his own perfidy and treason. He 
sent privately to Xerxes the members of his 
family, and at the same time gave it out to 
his own countrymen that his high-born Persian 
captives had escaped. Along with this princely 
present to the Great King, he sent to him a 
letter to the following effect : — 

" Pausanias, ttic .r;-artan commander, wish- 
ing to oblige thee, sends back these prisoners 
of war. I am rainded, if it please thee, to 
marry thy daughter and to bring Sparta and 
the rest of Greece under thy dominion. This 
I hold myself able to d» with the help of thy 
counsels. If, therefore, the project at all 
pleases thee, send down some trustworthy man 
lo the coast through whom we may carry on 
jur future correspondence," 

This letter, being so full of perfidy, was 
of precisely the kind to delight a Persian 
moi\arch — particularly Xerxes. He imme- 

diately responded in a manner highly flatter^ 
ing to Pausanias. The princess was promised 
to him in marriage ; lavish supplies of money 
were sent forward, and he was urged to prose- 
cute his plans as rapidly as possible, with the 
assurance that the king of Persia would not 
be slow in supplying all bis needs. It was in 
the nature of Pausanias to discount his pros- 
pects. He began to realize on the possible 
by assuming the dress and manners of a Per- 
sian prince. His command of the fleet was 
in that style of elaborate flummery peculiar 
to eastern officers. This thing was from the 
first exceedingly distasteful to the captions 
and seamen of the allied fleet. The news 
reached Sparta, and that sedate commonwealth, 
shocked at the shameless disloyalty of- her 
officer, immediately dispatched Dorcis to super' 
sede him. But before the arrival of the latter, 
the capt^ns of the fleet, disgusted with the 
conduct of Pausanias, had themselves trans- 
ferred the command from him to the Atbe- 

Such, however, was the strict subordination 
of the Spartans to authority that the larger 
part of their squadron accompanied the dis- 
graced Pausanias on his return home. Iliis 
left Dorcis with so few ships at bis disposal 
that he could not resist the transfer of tlie 
command to the fleet of Athens, which ever 
since the battle of Salamis had given to that 
city a preponderating reputation and influence 
in the affiiirs of Greece. This circumstance 
became the central fact in tie Athenian Su- 
premacy. The Ionian cities of Asia Minor 
and most of the adjacent islands, inhabited as 
they were by people of the same race with 
the Athenians, were well pleased with this id- 
crease of power on the part of their kinsraeo 



in European Greece, for they saw in thb fact 
the possible — even the probable — deliverance 
of themselves from the thralldom of Persia. 
The leadership of Athens was therefore gladly 
recognized by all the lonians, and the senti- 
ment spread until the islands of Rhodes, Cos, 
Lesbos, and Tenydos, together with the Greek 
towns on the Chalcidician peninsula, joined 
in the league, by which was formed, under 
the patronage of Athens and through the in- 
fluence of Aristides, the Confederacy of 
Delos. It was agreed that hereafter, in the 
interests of Greece, deputies from all the 
states represented in the league should an- 
nually assemble at the temple of Apollo and 
Artemis, in the island of Delos, to discuss 
questions pertaining to the wel&re of the con- 
federation and the honor of the Greek name. 

As soon afl the league was formed the com- 
mand of the allied £eet was transferred from 
Aristides to Cimon. He immediately set out 
on an expedition against the town of Eion, 
on the river Strymon. This place was deliv- 
ered from Persian rule, and in B. C. 470, the 
island of Scyros was reduced by the fleet and 
colonized with Athenians. This rapid growth 
of the power of Athens was hailed by most 
of the states of Greece as a reward fiurly 
earned by her heroic conduct in the Persian 
wars. But to Sparta this splendid rise of her 
rival from the ashes of despair was gall and 
wormwood. She looked with a lack-luster 
and jealous eye on the doings of the Confed- 
eracy of Delos and the extension of Athenian 
reputation. Nor were the agencies by which 
Athens at home, among the extinct cinders 
•f her recent overthrow, had again become 
80 suddenly the pride of Central Greece, more 
pleasing to the narrow-minded Lacedaemonians 
who were more stung with the arrows of jeal- 
ousy than by the darts of the enemy. For 
this sudden development of reviving energy 
was traceable most of all to the superhuman 
energies of two Athenian statesmen, Themis- 
tocles and Aristides. To the latter, as already 
said, was due the formation of the Confeder- 
acy of Delos, and to the former the growth 
and extension of the maritime power of the 

Meanwhile, the city so recently consumed 

by Persian wrath was rapidly rebuilding. 
The houseless fugitives came back from Troe- 
zen, jEgina, and Salamis. The streets were 
widened and extended. Ambition rose with 
the occasion. Beauty was consulted ; and 
also safety. For it was determined to suiw 
round Athens with walk and fortifications 
against which the waves of barbarism would 
hereafter beat in vain. These measures, so 
natural and necessary, greatly excited the 
jealousy of the ^ginetans, and knowing the 
disposition of Sparta, they sent to her an em- 
bassy earnestly advising the Lacedsemoniant 
to interfere and prevent the completion of 
the works by which Athens would be ren« 
dered independent alike of foreign and do- 
mestic animosity. The Spartans would gladly 
have undertaken thb work, but the crafty 
Themistocles outwitted them in negotiation 
until what time the fortifications were so well 
advanced as no longer to require concealment 
or apology. Themistocles, thus freed from inter- 
state difiliculties, devoted himself assiduously 
to the increase of the navy and development of 
Athenian commerce. The harbor of Pirseus 
was improved and surrounded with an im- 
pregnable wall sixty feet in height. Every 
exposed part of the peninsula was rendered 
defensible, and Athens felt secure behind her 

In thb period of rapid recovery political 
rancor in a great measure subsided. Themis* 
tocles and Arbtides made common cause in 
rehabilitating the state. The latter had so 
far modified hb opinions as to accept the 
democratic tendencies of hb countrymen as 
natural and right. He himself brought for- 
ward and secured the passage of a law by 
which all restrictions were removed from the 
Thetes or Fourth Estate, and themselves made 
eligible to the highest offices in the gift of 
the state. 

Thus at last the archonship and also mem- 
bership in the court of Areopagus were 
opened to the humblest citizen of the com- 
monwealth. Under the impulse of these pro- 
gressive measures every enterprise of the 
Athenians sprang forward with unwonted 
rapidity and success. The only drawback 
upon the prosperity of the city and state waa 


the spirit of party and the un trust wurthinesH I elective officer. He put on pomp. He 
of politjcal leadership. These dangers vera | boasted of what he had done for the stata 

■pecially manifested in the case of Themisto- I He acquired luxurious habits ; and these had 
cles. Coming to consider himself infallible, to be supported bj peculation and corruption 
he assumed a carriage unbecoming in an I io office. When sent out with a squadron to 



restore order among the Cyclades by putting 
down certain irresponsible governors who had 
nsurped authority during the Persian wars, 
he compounded with several of the petty 
despots for money. 

Meanwhile Cimon and AlcmsBon had be- 
come the leaders of what remained of the old 
aristocratic party in Athens. They made no 
concealment of their preference for the con- 
stitution of Sparta over the too democratic 
institutions of their own city. In this fact 
was laid the foundation of a Lacedsemoni^n 
faction in the heart of Athens; and it was 
not long in making itself felt, to the injury of 
the state. It will be remembered that Pau- | 
sanias had been deposed from the command 
of the allied fleet at Byzantium on account 
of hb too manifest intrigues with the Per- 
sians. The party of Cimon was now insti- 
gated from Sparta to prefer the same charge 
against Themistocles, and he was accordingly 
accused of being in collusion with the court 
of Susa. This charge, however, could not be 
sustained, but the manners and conduct of 
their leader had become so distasteful to the 
Athenians that in a short time an appeal was 
made to the ostracism and Themistocles was 

He went first to Argos, where he re- 
mained five years. Before the expiration of 
that time, however, proofs were discovered of 
his being implicated with Pausanias in a trea- 
sonable correspondence with Persia. The 
Spartan leader after his downfall had returned 
to the service as a private, had then lived in 
Asia Minor, had time and again been sus- 
pected of disloyalty, had been recalled to 
Sparta, but not brought to trial on account of 
the trepidation of the Ephors in the presence 
of the criminaL By and by Pausanias dis- 
patched a slave to bear a letter to Asia; but 
the slave remembering that his fellows who 
had previously gone on such missions had 
never returned, broke the seal and read how 
he himself was to be killed as soon as the 
letter was delivered. He went in terror and 
gave the missive to the Ephors. The latter 
thus obtained convincing proofs of the guilt of 
Pausanias, and were about to arrest him when 
he fled to the temple of Poseidon. Not daring 

to drag him from the altar they ordered masons 
to build up the doorSf and in this work the mother 
came and laid the first stone. When the 
wall was built solid the roof was removed 
and Pausanias was left to starve to death. 

When in the agonies of death, however, his 
body was carried out lest it should pollute the 
altar. Hb correspondence was rifled and 
letters were found showing that Themistocles 
was also in the conspiracy to deliver Greece 
to Persia. Sparta thereupon renewed her 
demand that the great Athenian should be 
brought to trial. When about to be arrested, 
however, Themistocles fled, first to the court 
of Admetus, king of the Molossians, thence 
to Asia Minor, and thence to Artaxerxes at 
Susa. Here he became a resident, in close 
confidence of the Persian king. By him, 
after a year, the Greek was sent to Magnesia 
and given the revenues of that city for sup- 
port — this with the understanding that the 
plans now matured for delivering his country 
to Artaxerxes should be carried out. But in 
a short time Themistocles died, nor was the 
suspicion wanting that he killed himself in a 
fit of despair. Thus in utter disgrace per- 
ished tne heroes of Platsea and Salamis. 

Aristides held out faithful to the end. He 
died four years after the banbhment of The- 
mistocles, and such was his poverty that he 
was buried at the public expense. Neverthe- 
less he kept until the hour of hb death his 
hold upon the public confidence, and he was 
at that time archon eponymos of the city. 
His sterling virtues had served a better pur- 
pose in the great issue of life than the bril- 
liant talents of Thembtocles or the military 
genius of MUtiades. Hb reputation remained 
untambhed to the last, and the historians of 
hb country have transmitted hb spotless fame 
to an admiring posterity. 

By the death of the great leader, Gimov 
was left in the lead of Athenian politics. 
Although hb antecedents placed him in the 
ranks of the old oligarchical party, hb man- 
ners, talents, and address rendered him popu- 
lar with the masses. He was a citizen of un« 
doubted patriotbm, and expended a good part 
of hb revenue in adorning the city. Hb own 
house was a public resort, in which every 



thing was open and free, even to people of 
the poorest class. He was, however, a soldier 
rather than a statesman, and possessed but 
little taste for literature and art 

During his leadership occurred the revolt 
of Naxos against the Confederacy of Delos. 
In B. C. 466, this island renounced the com- 
pact and took up arms, but the insurrection 
was quickly suppressed by Cimon, and the Nax- 
ians were obliged to resume their tributary re- 
lations to Athens. Soon afterwards the allied 
squadron sailed to the coast of Asia Minor, 
and gained at the mouth of the river Eury- 
medon a great victory over the fleet and 
army of the Persians. This by means of 
their naval superiority did the Athenians es- 
tablish on a .still firmer foundation their su- 
premacy over the members of the confederacy. 

In the next year after the reduction of 
Naxos, the government of Athens, then pursu- 
ing a policy of colonization, was opposed in 
making a settlement by the people of Thasos, 
and this bland was subjected to a blockade 
and siege. Before the same was concluded, 
the Thasians sent to Sparta and requested 
that state to make a diversion in their favor 
by an invasion of Attica. This proposition, 
base as it was, was about to be accepted by 
the Lacedaemonians when they were prevented 
by a series of calamities which brought the 
state to the lowest ebb of fortune. First 
came a violent earthquake, which laid the 
city in ruins and killed twenty thousand of 
the inhabitants. Hard after this followed a 
revolt of the Helots, who, believing that Po- 
seidon had shaken down the stronghold of 
their oppressors, rose with what weapons they 
could gather and began to kill and burn. 
They were joined by the Messenians, who, 
through generations of hatred, awaited an 
opportunity to be revenged. When the mot- 
ley crew of insurrectionists were beaten back 
from Laconia, they shut themselves up in the 
old fortress of Ithome and were besieged. 

The Spartans, having little skill in taking 
fortified towns, sent for the Athenians to help 
' them, although at this very time they were 
engaged with the Thasians in a perfidious 
scheme to invade Attica. Athens responded 
to the call, and sent down a large force to 

aid in the reduction of Ithome ; but the Spar- 
tans, unable to conceal their spleen, soon dis- 
missed them with contempt and carried on 
the siege alone. The troops had been sent 
into Messenia through the influence of Cimon, 
an avowed friend of the Spartans, and their 
dismissal was so flagrant an insult as to break 
down Cimon's party and put the conduct of 
aflairs into the hands of the democrats. Th« 
latter were now under the leadership of a 
young man, who, as a politician and states- 
nmn, was destined soon to surpass all his pred- 
ecessors — Pericles, the orator and scholar. 

In the Athenian government, as it was 
now constituted, the venerable court of Areop- 
agus was the last hold of the old oligarchical 
party. Its right to exercise a general super- 
vision over the citizens as it respected their 
manners and vocations was so exceedingly un- 
democratic as to be borne with extreme 
impatience by the progressive elenent in 
Athenian politics. Even Aristides, strongly 
conservative as he was, had consented, in 
obedience to the popular demand, that the 
membership of the court should no longer be 
limited to the Eupatridse, or First Estate; 
but this concession was not enough, and 
Pericles succeeded in striking at the founda- 
tions of privilege by making the members of 
the court to be chosen by lot. Other innova- 
tions followed, until not only this august 
body of ancient Greece, but also the Senate 
of Five Hundred, was reduced to a mere 
specter of its former self. Finally, the tables 
of the laws of Solon were brought down from 
the Acropolis and deposited in the market- 
place, as if to say that henceforth the powers 
of the Athenian commonwealth were to be 
exercised directly by the people. 

These measures — amounting to a revolu- 
tion — were not accomplished but with an 
excess of party strife. Ephialtes, the friend 
of Pericles, by whose efforts the Solonian 
tablets had been brought down to the market* 
square, was assassinated. Cimon was ostra- 
cized for ten years. The oligarchical party 
went down in ruins, and the leadership of 
Pericles was firmly established. 

The new statesmen belonged to the school 
of Themistocles. His policy looked to the 



extension of tl 3 influence of Greece in Eu- 
rope. Sparta and Spartan institutions he 
held in undisguised contempt. To weaken by 
every possible means the influence of the 
Lacedsemonians was one of his leading polit- 
ical principles. Without hesitation he allied 
himself freely with Argos and Megara, the 
traditional enemies of Sparta. By these overt 
acts the jealousy of Sparta was heated into 
animosity soon to burst into the flames of war. 

In the mean time the allied fleet, under the 
lead of the Athenians, was successfully ex- 
tending the dominion of Greece on the sea. 
While cruising on the coast of Cyprus and 
Phoenicia, the squadron was, in B. C. 460, 
called upon by the revolt of Inarus to inter- 
fere in the aflairs of Egypt. The Greek 
sailed up the Nile, and bore an active part in 
the overthrow of Persian authority. For four 
or five years they conducted a siege of the so- 
called White Fprtress, in which the Persians 
had shut themselves up. With the coming of 
Megabyzus and his army, the Athenians were 
in turn besieged in the island of Prosopitis, 
and were finally obliged to surrender. Con- 
trary to the stipulated terms, the greater 
number of the captives were put to death, 
Inarus himself being crucified. The fleet was 
mostly destroyed, and fifty additional ships 
which arrived just after the surrender were 
also captured and burnt. 

During the occurrence of these events, the 
inhabitants of .Sgina, unable longer to re- 
strain their jealousy, indu -ed the Corinthians 
and Epidaurians tg join them, and gave battle 
to an Athenian squadron near their own 
island. *It was the first act of actual hostility 
between the Dorian and Ionian races in Eu- 
ropean Greece. The Athenians were com- 
pletely victorious, capturing seventy ships 
from the ^ginetans, landing a large force on 
the shore, and laying siege to their principal 
eity. Sparta meanwhile was unable to inter- 
fere on behalf of her friends ; for the Helots 
were still in insurrection, and gave the Lace- 
demonians full occupation in their own coun- 
try. So alarming, however, was the growth 
of Athens, that even before the siege of 
Ithome had been brought to a successful issue 
the Spartan ctovernment ordered an army of 

one thousand five hundred heavy-armed sol- 
diers and ten thousand allies to march into 
Doris, for the ostensible purpose of aiding that 
state against the Phocians, but with the real 
object of checking the progress of Athens in 
Central Greece. The true purpose, however, 
was soon discovered, for the Spartans, after 
having settled to their satisfaction the aflairs 
of Doris and Boeotia, took up a menacing 
position at Tanagra, on the very borders of 
Attica. This was more than the Athenians 
could tamely bear. They marched out with 
such forces as they could rally for the occa- 
sion, and fought a bloody battle with the 
Spartans, in which, though the results were 
indecisive, the latter had the advantage. They 
next crossed over into Attica, and then pro- 
ceeded homewards, ravaging as they went 

The general effect of this digression was 
favorable to Athens. Party strife was hushed 
in the presence of the common danger. Ci- 
mon himself on the eve of the recent battle 
left the place of his banishment, repaired to 
the Athenian army, and asked permission to 
fi^ht in the ranks with his countrymen. 
When this was refused, he set up his armor 
on the battlefield and exhorted his friends 
to rally to it and strike home for Athens. 
Such was the effect of this patriotic conduct 
that a measure, recalling him from exile, 
was at once proposed by Pericles and passed 
by the assembly. 

The concord which was thus introduced into 
the stormy arena of Athenian politics was so 
marked that the city bounded forward on a 
new career of prosperity. Within two months 
after the battle of Tanagra, the Athenians 
again marched into Boeotia and met the army 
of that state on the bloody field of QSno- 
PHYTA. Here under the conmiand of Myron- 
ides, they gained a complete and over- 
whelming victory. Thebes, the capital, and 
all the other Boeotian towns were taken by the 
Athenians. The oligarchical government, re- 
cently established by the influence of the 
Spartans, was overthrown, and democracies 
instituted in their stead. The Athenian army 
then marched through Phocis and Locris, 
compelling them also to conform to the new 
; democratic rigvme^ which was thus extended 


from the gulf of Coriath to the paae of 

In the mean tJme Pericles had undertaken 
•nd completed thoae celebrated works known 
as the Long Walla, by which the two eea- 
porta of Athena— Phalerum and Pineue — were 
joined wi^ the city. One of these walls 
was four miles and the other four and arhalf 
mUes in length. They were built eo thick 
and high as to be impregnable to any ordi- 
nary assault, and furnished an abundant pro- 
tection to the commercial and foreign inter- 
«8tB of Athens. The ascendency thus gained 
by the city was so undisputed that, for a 
nomber of years, not even the Spartans dared 
to break the peace which the Athenians had 
enforced in Cen- 
tral Greece. A 
five year^ truce 
was oODOhided be- 
tween them, dur- 
ing which time 
CimoD, in the 
prosecution of his 
cherished ambi- 
tion against the 
Persians, con- 
ducted an expe- 
dition to Cyprus 
and laid siege to 
the town of Cit- 
ium. While this 
was in progress 
London. Briuth HuMiim. the great general 
died and was suc- 
ceeded by Anaxicrates, who abandoned the 
riege, but soon afterward gained a decisive 
victory over the combined fleets of Phceni- 
cians and Cilicians. 

In a short tirae after these events a general 
peace was made between the Persians and 
the Greeks. It was agreed, half informally 
find half by actual stipulations, that the Fer- 
oan king would no longer tax or disturb, in 
any way, the Greek colonies on the coast of 
Ana AKnor; nor would he send any vessel 
oi war to the west of a tine drawn from the 
^racian Bosphorus to Phaselis, in Lycia. As 
for the Athenians, they should refrain from 
■U turther aggression, and concede to the 

Persians the undisturbed posseeoon of Cyprtn 
and I^ypt 

By this time the sway of Athens had be- 
come so complete, not only in European 
Greece, but among the Cyclades, that the 
Confederacy of Deles was virtually eztin- 
guished by her authority. Even the treasury 
of the league had been quietly transferred 
by the Athenians ^m Delos to their own 
city. In Central Oreec« the states of Mega>- 
ris, Bceotia, Phocis, and Locris, and in Pelo- 
ponnesus Troezenia and Achaia bad been 
almost completely subordinated to Athenian 
domination. It was virtually a Greek empire 
under the leadership of Athens. The city 
was now at the acme of her influence and 
splendor. For a few years, at the middle of 
the fifth century B. C, it may furly be al- 
lowed that, fur intellectual greatness, archi- 
tectural achievement, and aitistic fame Athena 
far surpassed any city of the ancient, and per- 
haps of the modem, world. It was, however, 
politically speaking, a short-U^ed glory. T^m 
nature of the txinds which nnited Athens to 
the dependent states were such as at any m» 
ment to be snapped asunder. 

In B. C. 447, Boeotia threw off the Athe- 
nian yoke and made herself independent In 
a futile attempt to suppress the insurrection, 
Tolmides, with one Uiousand heavy-armed 
soldiers — a force entirely inadequate to such 
an enterprise — was disastrously defeated and 
himself slain. Then followed in quick nio- 
cesaiou similar revolts in Phocis, Locris, Ku- 
bcea, and Megaris. llien came the Spartana, 
headed by the king, Pleisloanax, and entered 
the Attic territory. Nor is it certain that 
Athens herself vould not then have fallen 
into the power of the Lacedemonians bnt for 
the means employed by Pericles, who is said 
to have bribed the invaders to withdraw from 
the country. To compensate for these losses, 
the Athenian leader had nothing to boast ex- 
cept the recouquest of Eubcea. Such had 
been the collapse of Athenian pretemdons 
that, in B. C. 445, Pericles was glad to enter 
into a truce of thiity years with Sparta, by the 
terms of which the Athenians agreed to aban- 
don all conquesfa except in the Gulf of Corinth, 
and to leave the other states to their freedom. 



Tbax disBStera of Athens, bringing with 
Ihem a decline in the influence of Pericles, 
gave opportunity in the city for the revival 
of the party of the oligarchy. This' was ef- 
fected under the leadership of Thucydidbs, a 
man of distinguished abilities, but not of such 
commanding genius as to be a fit opponent 
for Pericles. It was the circumstances rather 
than the preemioent talents of the leader that 
made him the competitor of the great demo- 
crat. 'Sot were the methods which he and 
his adherents adopted better calculated to win 
the favor of the 
Athenian populace. 
Ailer beating in vain 
for a season againsi 
the democratic ma- 
jority, lliucydhies 
was relieved of the 
cares of party leader- 
ship by being ostra- 
cized. His party was 
broken up by hiE 
downfall, and Peri- 
elee, during the rest 
of his life, remained 
the undisputed leader 
of Athenian politics. 

With the over- 
throw of the party 
of the aristocracy, 
Atheoa, as a city, 
was raised to the 
highest pitch of 
glory. Whatever art 

and letters and refinement could do to gild 
the splendid capital was bestowed without 
stioL Now it was that the Acbopous was 
crowned with the magnificent Pabthenon, de- 
•igDed by Callicrates and Ictinus and adorned 
by Phidias. On the summit was reared the 
ivory statue of Athene Promachos, forty-seven 
feet in height, looking serenely towards the 
sea. Now, at the foot of the hill, was built 
the great Odeuh for the musical and dramati- 
cal entertainment of the people. Now, on 
the western side of the Acropolis, were con- 
structed the PbopyL£A, or entrances to the 
temple, second only in magnificence to the 
Parthenon itselt. Nor were the uaefi^ works 

of the city neglected. A third wall was ex- 
tended to the Fineus. The harbors and docks 
of Attica were improved and beautified, and 
the public markets greatly enlarged. Hie 
expense of these works is said to have ex- 
ceeded 13,500,000. It was at this time that 
the dominion of Greek thought — of philoso- 
phy, of oratory, of art — was established on a 
basis which has not been materially shaken by 
the revolutions of twenty-two centuries, and 
which seems destined to be everiasting. 
A second part of the policy of Peridei 

was the extenmon of the Athenian race by 
colonization. It was not the theory of Athens 
that companies of stragglers and vagabonds 
should represent her on foreign coasts, but 
rather that bands of reputable citizens, well 
organized and well supplied, should go abroad 
and establish Greek civilization in its integ- 
rity. At one time during the administration 
of Pericles, a company of a thousand Athe- 
nians settled in the Thracian Chersonesus; 
another band of five hundred in Nasos, and 
a third of two hundred anci fifty in Andros. 
A still larger colony was established at Thurii, 
near the site of ancient Sybaris, in Southern 
Italy. Among those who joined thii com- 



pany were the orator LyBiaa and the hUtorian 
Herodotus. In B. C. 437, another settlement 
of equal importance was made at Ampbipolis, 
on the river Strjmon, in Macedonia — a de- 
pendency which afterwards played a conspicu- 
ous part in Greek history, 

A more liberal and less ambitious policy 
on the part of Pericles 'might have postponed 
or possibly averted the coming disasters of his 
country. But, in his eagerness to make 
Athens glorious, there was but little thought 
given to justice and equity of administration. 
Especially was this manifested in the exorbi- 
tant tribute which was collected from the 
Athenian dependencies. The members of the 
Confederacy of Delos were taxed to the ex- 
tent of six hundred talents annually, and this 
too when the occasion for which the tribute 
was originally levied had entirely passed 
away. The peace with the Persians made 
such an imposition no longer necessary as a 
measure of defense; but the ambition of 
Pericles still exacted it as a measure of luxury. 

At this time the only members of the Con- 
federacy which retained dieir freedom and 
oontitiued to consult with the Athenians on 

terms of comparative equality, were Samoe, 
Lesbos, and Chios. The first of these islands 
became embmiled with the Milesians, and the 
latter appealc 1 1 o Athens for a settlement of 
the difficulty. The Samian government was 
still under the control of an oligarchy, and 
this furnijhed Pericles with a good excuse for 
interference. In B. C 440 an expedition 
was sent to reduce the Samians by force. A 
democracy was established in the island, and 
many leading Samians were sent to Lenmos 
as hostages. This state of things, however, 
was soon undone by a counter revolution 
backed by the satrap of Sardis; but the Athe- 
nians returned, put down the revolt, and r^ 
established their own style of government over 
the Samians. The hitter were obliged to pay 
the expenses of the war, amounting to a 
thousand talents, and to give hostages for the 
maintenance of the peace. 

Such was the condition of affairs in B. C. 
435, when a petty quarrel between Corinth 
and her dependency Corcyra applied the spark 
to the long smouldering animosities and jeal- 
ouues of the Greeks, and set thmr country in 
the flames of civil war. 

CHAPTER XLVi.— The peloponnesian wars. 

ARLY in her history the 
city of Corinth had es- 
tablished, on the island 
of that name, the colony 
of Corcyra. Afterwards 
Corcyra sent out a colony 
and founded Epidamnus 
on the coast of Epirus. The latter, however, 
as well as the former, regarded Corinth as her 
mother city. The Epidamnians, like the 
other Greek states, expelled the oligarchical 
party, and the latter brought in the Blyrians 
to restore them. The authorities appealed to 
Corcyra for aid, which was refused; for the 
Corcyneans sympatliized with the oligarchs, 
rhe Epidamnians then applied to Corinth. 
The latter sent out an expedition, and the 
democracy in Epidamnus was sustained. But 

the autfaoriries of Corcyra resented the inter 
ference, sent a squadron, blockaded the town, 
and restored the oligarchs. The Corcyrteans 
then tried to persuade the Corinthians to refer 
the matter to arbitration, but the latter sent 
a still larger fleet to the western coast, and 
this was defeated and destroyed by the Cor- 
cynean squadron * at Actium. This left the 
Epidamnians at the mercy of the oligarchical 

The Corinthians immediately went to work 
rebuildiug their fleet. Within two years they 
had gathered with their own exertions and 
from their allies a squadron of one hundred 
and fifty ships. The Corcyneans, seeing these 
preparations and remembering that Corinth 
was a member of the Lacedtemonian league, 
applied to Athens for support. The Atbeniaa 



assembly, after hearing the ambassadors, re- 
solved upon a defensive alliance with Corcyra, 
and agreed to defend the island in case of in- 
vasion. To this end a fleet of ten sail, under 
command of Lacedsemonius, was sent to the 
Corcyrseans. In the mean time the Corinthian 
fleet arriv^ed, and a hard battle was fought, in 
which the Corcyrseans were defeated. But, 
as the Corinthians were preparing to press 
their advantage on the morrow, a new contin- 
gent of twenty vessels hove in sight from 
Athens. The Corinthian captain, believing 
thb to be but a detachment of a larger fleet, 
at once stood away and sailed for home. 

In this condition of afiairs Perdiccas, king 
of Macedonia, appeared on the scene. Hav- 
ing certain grievances against the Athenians, 
he sought revenge by instigating the inhabi- 
tants of Potidsea, a dependency of Athens 
occupying the neck of the peninsula of Fal- 
len^, to revolt against the mother city. At 
the same time he urged the Spartans, as the 
head of the Lacedaemonian league, to make 
an invasion of Attica. Hereupon the Ephors 
called a meeting of the Peloponnesian states. 
The dissatisfied delegates addressed the as- 
sembly, and all were loud in their denuncia- 
tions of the Athenians. An agent of Athens 
then resident in Sparta spoke in favor of his 
country, but the adverse opinion prevailed, 
and near the close of B. C. 432 war was re- 
solved upon by the Peloponnesian league 
against the Athenians. 

Sparta did not, however, proceed to imme- 
diate hostility. With her usual cunning she 
undertook, first of all, to secure the over- 
throw of Pericles. The opponents of this 
statesman were instigated to attack him. He 
was charged with peculations. His friend, the 
philosopher Anaxagoras, was persecuted for 
opinion's sake. He was not orthodox on the 
subject of the gods. With him was involved 
AsPASiA, that paragon of beauty and genius, 
who for years had shared the counsels and 
aflTections of Pericles. The philosopher fled, 
but Aspasia was tried. The haughty Pericles, 
who for a generation had stood unmoved in 
every storm, wept as he pleaded her cause 
before the court. She was acquitted; but 
the enemies of the statesman next turned 

upon Phidias, and he was prosecuted on the 
charge of having appropriated the gold whicn 
had been voted for the Acropolitan statue of 
Athene. The great sculptor died in prison 
before the day of trial. 

None the less, the party of Pericles stood 
firm, and he retained his grip on the rudder 
of the state. The Spartans continued to prod 
him with demands, and finally sent an ulti- 
matum to the efiect that if the Athenians 
would avoid war they should at once liberate 
all of their dependent states. The assembly 
replied that Athens did not desire war, that 
she would give satisfaction for her seeming 
violation of the Thirty Years' truce, but as 
for the rest she would resist force with force. 

Actual hostilities were begun by the The- 
bans who, in the interest of the Peloponne- 
sian league, fell upon Platsea by night. The 
band, however, that thus unexpectedly to the 
Platseans gained possession of their city was 
soon overwhelmed, and before daybreak all 
but one hundred and eighty were killed and 
the rest made prisoners. When the main 
army of Thebes came up it was induced to 
retire with the promise that the prisoners 
should be given up, but the Platseans took 
advantage of the lull, gathered in their 
friends and property from the surrounding 
districts, and then killed the prisoners to the 
last man. This perfidious and desperate deed, 
though done against a band of guerrillas, set 
the states on fire. Passion spread like a con- 
flagration. The pent-up jealousy of forty cit- 
ies, each with its long-smothered grievance, 
burst forth against the Athenian common- 
wealth as the common cause of all the ills 
that Greek flesh had inherited. Delos was 
rocked with an earthquake. Crazy sooth- 
sayers harangued crowds of the superstitious. 
The oracles lifted up their ambiguous voice 
and uttered two-tongued promises and impreca- 
tions. The blood was hot. Neutrality was 
hardly thought of. Every Peloponnesian 
state, except Argos and Achaia, ranged itself 
with Sparta ; and in Central Greece Megaris« 
Bceotia, Phocis, and East Locris, besides the 
tribes of Leucadia and Anactoria, all gath- 
ered under the Lacedsemonian banners. One 
might think, from the suddeu and universal 



explosion of animosity, that the Greek race 
had become more wearied with hearing Athens 
called the Oreat than the Athenians themselves 
had been tiered of hearing Arbtides called the 
Just: and in either case there was equal rea- 
son — or the want of it. The continental 
allies of Athens were Thessaly, Platsea, Acar- 
nania, and a part of Messenia about Naupac- 
tus. Her insular support embraced Chios, 
Lesbos, Corcyra^ Cephallenia, and Zacynthus. 
In those resources which are said to constitute 
the sinews of war the Athenians had great 
strength. In the treasury of the Acropolis 
was deposited a sum equal to seven millions 
of dollars. The annual revenue of the state 
was very great, and the riches of the various 
temples and shrines — not, of course, to be 
rashly touched by the hand of war — gave an- 
other immense aggregate. The fleet consisted 
of three hundred vessels ; the standing army 
of thirty-one thousand eight hundred men. 
The forces of the league were superior in foot 
soldiers, being about sixty thousand strong, 
but greatly inferior in the matter of a fleet 
This defect the Spartans hoped to supply \y 
the help of the Corinthians and the Dorian 
colonies of Italy, or in case of need to call 
upon their friends, the Persians. 

The army of the confederation assembled 
at the isthmus of Corinth undei command of 
Archidamus, the Spartan k*ag. From thb 
point the expedition began against Attica. 
By midsummer of B. C 431 the march had 
proceeded to the Thriasian plain, near Eleu- 
sis. By the orders of Pericles the country 
was abandoned. The population withdrew 
within the walls of Athens, and the city was 
filled to overflowing. Archidamus was disap- 
pointed in his hope of bringing on a gen- 
eral battle. The cooped-up people clamored 
greatly at the policy adopted, and the Athe- 
nian cavalry was sent out to harass the en- 
emy. From the Thriasian plain the Spartans 
next moved to Acharnee, and cogtinued their 
ravages. To appease the people as well as to 
punish the enemy Pericles sent a fleet of one 
hundred and fifty ships to fall upon the coast 
of Peloponnesus. The Corinthian settlement 
of SoUium, the town of Astacus, and the island 
of Cephallonia which, until now, had held a 

dubious attitude in the conquest, were taken 
by the squadron. The Locrian towns of 
Thronium and Alope were also captured by 
another detachment of the Athenian fleet, 
and the anti-Athenian party in JBgina was 
suppressed and driven out of the island. The 
efiect of these bold diversions was such that 
late in the summer Archidamus evacuated 
the country, and his army was presently dis- 
banded. As soon as this movement wbb 
known in Athens, Pericles marched out with 
thirteen thousand heavy armed soldiers, in- 
vaded Megaris, and ravaged the country as 
furiously as the Lacedaemonians had wasted 

It was now evident that the war was des- 
tined to be of long duration. The Athenians 
accordingly made every preparation to main- 
tain their cause. In accordance with a reso- 
lution of the assembly, one thousand talents 
were sacredly set apart for the service of the 
city in case she should be attacked by sea ; 
and it was further resolved that each year a 
hundred galleys should be retained for thi 
protection of the city. 

In the beginning of the second campaign, 
B. C. 430, Archidamus again invaded Attica. 
At this juncture a foe appeared within the 
walls of Athens far more more dreadful than 
the enemy without. A dreadful pestilence 
attacked the people, with which they began 
to sicken and die by hundreds. It was a 
form of pestilence hitherto unknown in th« 
city. The Greek physicians could in no wise 
stay its progress. Terror seized the public 
mind. Some ascribed the plague to the 
wrath of Apollo. Others said that the Spar^ 
tans had poisoned the wells. The supersti- 
tious mountebank, who in every age of the 
world has afflicted human society with his 
pestilential presence, came out from his place 
and abetted the disease by playing upon the 
fears of the people. The malady attacked 
the mind as well as the body. A gloomy and 
despondent spirit foreran the approach of the 
pestilence. Athens was a universal funeraL 
Hundreds lay unburied. The air reeked with 
the stench of corpses. One fourth of the 
population died. The Lacedaemonian without 
and Death within stretched a pall over At- 



tica. The mutterings of despair joined their 
volume with the howl of diacontent, and a 
spirit less resolute than Pericles would have 
succumbed to the clamor. But he stood like 
a statue. To distract the public mind from 
its grief, and to empty the stricken city of a 
part of its population, he fitted up a squadron 
at Pirseus, took command himself, sailed to 
Peloponnesus, and began to mete to the towns 
of the league the same vengeance which they 
had measured to him. But, notwithstanding 
his herculean efforts, ^edition broke out in 
the city. Cleon, hb political adversary, took 
advantage of his absence, and preferred 
against hun the charge of peculation. Peri- 
cles was condemned to pay a fine ; and for 
awhile it seemed that, at last, the influence 
of the great leader over the minds of his 
countrymen was broken. 

But public opinion soon reacted; he was 
again chosen general of the army, and quickly 
regained his ascendency. The drama of his 
life, however, was now nearing the final scene. 
The members of his famUy were struck down 
by the plague. He himself survived an attack 
of the epidemic ; but a low fever supervened, 
the forces of nature failed, and Pericles lay 
dying. In the Imt hours he said to those 
who were recalling the exploits of his brilliant 
career: "What you praise in me b partly 
the result of good fortuue, or is, at all events, 
common to me with many other commanders. 
What I chiefly pride myself upon, you have 
not noticed: on my account no Athenian 
ever wore mourning." 

Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians continued 
to ravage Attica. In a campaign of forty 
days' duration they carried their devastations 
into all parts of the peninsula. During the 
year also the allied fleet seized the island of 
Zacynthus, but was not able to retain it. The 
fisheries and commerce of the Athenians suf- 
fered not a little from the attacks of Spartan 
and Corinthian buccaneers, whose |)lan of 
battle was to fight, filch, and flee. The pris- 
oners taken by these pirates were generally 
put to death without mercy. It was not long, 
however, until the Athenians found opportu- 
nity to ^pply the lex talionis. A company of 

Spartan envoys, on their way to the court of 
N.— .Vol. 1—^5 

Persia, paused en route to seduce Sitalces, king 
of Thrace, from hb allegiance to the Athe- 
nians. But the seduction extended only so 
far as this — that they were themselves arrested 
and sent to the authorities of Athens, by 
whom they were killed as so many dogs. 
Among those who thus perished was Arbteus, 
one of the ablest generab of the league. 

In the mean time the siege of Potidsa was 
at last brought to a successful issue. The 
resistance had been long and obstinate. The 
Potidseans defended their town with desperate 
valor, and when at last reduced by famine to 
the verge of despair, they ate the bodies of 
their dead sooner than surrender. Only when 
honorable terms were offered did they finally 
succumb to necessity and capitulate to the 
besiegers. T^e town was then destroyed and 
the territory occupied by a colony sent out 
from Athens. 

The third year of the war opened with the' 
siege of Platsea by the Spartans. The latter 
had now grown weary of ravaging Attica, 
and determined to strike a decbive blow by 
overwhelming the city by whose act the con- 
flict had been kindled. On their approach 
the Platffians sent out an embassy solemnly 
protesting against the invasion on the grounds 
of the oath of Pausanias, who, after the over* 
throw of the Persians, had publicly vowed to 
Zeus Eleutherius that henceforth the freedom 
and independence of Platsea would ever be 
regarded and upheld by the Spartans. But 
the oath of the dead was not likely to prevail 
with a race whose notion of faith was to break 
it whenever it promised advantage to do 80» 

* The Platseans were summoned to surrender. 
When this was refused Archidamus proposed 
that the inhabitants of the city should go 
whithersoever they pleased, that the Lacede- 
monians would till the country until the war 
was ended and then restore it to the original 
owners. But on referring the question to the 
Athenians the latter advised the Platseans to 
hold out against the invaders, and the pro- 
posal was accordingly declined. 

The siege at once began. The town ooa- 
tained less than six hundred people, and yet 
this handful defied the army of the league 
and determined to defend thempelven to the 



last. Archidamus began to build a mound 
outside of the wall, from the summit of which 
his soldiers might surmount the barricade. 
But the Platseans built a second wall inside 
of the first, and at the same time undermined 
the mound which was thrown up outside. 
After three months of vain endeavor the 
Lacedsemonians were obliged to adopt the 
policy of a mere blockade, which should of 
necessity reduce the garrison by starvation. 
For two years the Platseans held out, and 
then when their provisions were nearly ex- 
hausted, two hundred and twelve of their 
number, choosing a dark December night, 
scaled the ramparts which the Spartans had 
built around the town, and escaped. The 
remainder still defended themselves, but were 
at last compelled by sheer famine to capitu- 
late. There remained of the garrison two 
hundred Platseans and twenty-five Athenians. 

As soon as all were surrendered they were 
brought to trial. Each one was led before 
the Spartan judges and asked the question 
whether during the present war he had renr 
dered any assistance to the Lacedcemonians or 
their oiliest The question was, of course, not 
even a decent mockery, and was necessarily 
answered in the negative. Thereupon with- 
out further ceremony every man of the num- 
ber was led off* and executed. The town of 
Flatffia was leveled to the earth and the ter- 
ritory given to the Thebans. 

During this third year of the war, Sitalces, 
king of Thrace, acting on the suggestion of 
the Athenians, invaded the dominions of 
Perdiccas of Macedon; but the expedition 
was undertaken at so late a season that its 
serious consequence was to drive the Macedo- 
nians to take refuge in their towns until the 
Tracians were withdrawn. About the same 
time, the Spartans, using Corinth as a base 
of operations, prepared a fleet of forty-seven 
vessels, and proceeded to make an expedition 
against Acarnania. At this time a small 
Athenian squadron of twenty sail, under 
command of Phormio, lay at Naupactus. 
Notwithstanding the disparity of the fleets, 
the Athenian captain attacked the Peloponne- 
sian armament, and gained a decisive victory. 
The Lacedsemonians, enraged at this result, 

prepared a new fleet of seventy-seven vessels 
and again started to cross the gulf; but 
nothing daunted, Phormio a second time gave 
battle, and if not positively victorious, so 
crippled the enemy's squadron that the expe- 
dition had to be abandoned. As a slight 
compensation for these disasters, the Spartans 
succeeded in surprising Salamis by night and 
ravaging a good part of the island before the 
Athenians could rally and drive them off*. 

From this time forth for several seasons 
the annual invasion of Attica occurred, with 
its monotonous repetition of pillage imd de- 

What with these perpetual devastations, 
and what with the wasting plague, Athens was 
becoming exhausted ; but her spirit rose with 
the occasion. New levies were made for the 
fleet from the upper classes of society. An 
income tax was laid upon the people, by 
which two hundred talents were to be annu- 
ally added to the treasury. The Lacedsemo- 
nians were surprised by the appearance of 
two new squadrons at a time when they were 
imagining the maritime strength of the Athe- 
nians to be nearly extinct. It was fortunate 
for the latter that they were thus able to re- 
cuperate, for the fourth year of the war 
brought them a serious trial in the revolt of 
Mitylene. An armament was, however, im- 
mediately sent against the rebellious idland, 
and the Mityleneans were subjected to a rigor- 
ous blockade. Assistance was promised by 
the Spartan government, and a squadron was 
sent out under Alcidas, but before he arrived 
off" .-e^bos the Athenians had compelled the 
place to capitulate. 

During the debates in the Athenian as- 
sembly as to what disposition should be madn 
of the prisoners, the demagogue Cleon, already 
mentioned as a would-be rival of Pericles, 
appeared as a leader. He had been a leather- 
seller,' and had every quality of mind and 
character requisite in a rabble-rouser. In the 
present instance he proposed in the very face 
of the terms granted by Paches, the Athe- 
nian commander before Mitylene, that not 
only the prisoners now in the power of the 
authorities, but also the whole adult male 

* See the satire of Aristophanes, «u|>ra, p. 



population of the captured city, should be put 
to death ! And the resolution was carried. A 
trireme was immediately dispatched to Lesbos 
to order the execution of the edict. The mad 
democratic mob that had ordered this butchery 
then slept and woke up sober. The atrocity 
of the thing staggered the city, and on the 
morrow a new meeting vas called to recon- 
sider. After an acrimonious debate, a revo- 
cation of the previous order was carried by a 
bare majority. A second trireme, now twenty- 
four hours behind the other, was at once sent 
away to stay the execution of the Mityle- 
neans. The galley reached Lesbos just in 
time. The former order was already in the 
hands of Paches, and he was preparing to 
carry it into effect when the panting oarsmen 
of the second boat reached the shore. The 
merciful edict of the assembly, however, ex- 
tended only to the citizens of Mitylene, and 
not to the prisoners who had been taken in 
the siege and sent to Athens. These, to the 
number of more than a thousand, were led 
out and put to death. 

The Mitylenean atrocity was excused by 
the Athenians on the ground that it was a 
measure of just retaliation for the massacre of 
the Platseans by the Lacedsemonians. It was 
not long till another scene of still more fearful 
cruelty was enacted in Corcyra. For some 
time there had been in that island a bitter 
struggle between the oligarchical &ction sup- 
ported by Sparta and the democratical party 
backed by Athens. Aft;er much mutual vio- , 
lence and several counter revolutions, the oli- 
garchs were, by the arrival of an Athenian 
fleet, completely overthrown. The popular 
vengeance broke forth furiously against them. 
They were pursued into their hiding places. 
They were dragged from the temple-altars and 
butchered without a sign of mercy or com- 
punction. For seven days the horrible 
massacre continued, and then ceased only 
because there were no more to murder. 

In the next epoch of the war the plague 
reappeared in Athens, and Peloponnesus was 
again shaken by an earthquake. The Athe- 
nians, attributing their woes to the anger of 
Apollo, ordered a purification of the island of 
Delos, provided thwt "^o more births or deaths 

should occur in that sacred seat, and insti- 
tuted a festival in honor of the offended god. 
In the seventh year's invasion of Attica by 
the Spartan general Agis, the devastation was 
suddenly brought to an end by the news thai 
the Athenians, under the lead of Demosthenes, 
had su'.5ceeded in establishing a military sta 
tion at Pylus, in Messenia, thus menacing the 
peac« of all Western Peloponnesus. A^ 
was recalled and ordered to dislodge Demos* 
thenes from his foothold in Messenia. The 
latter, with a small force of about one thou* 
sand men, built fortifications and awaited the 
onset. A Spartan fleet, commanded by Brasi- 
das, arrived in the bay and made an unsuc- 
cessful attack upon the Athenians. Then 
came a squadron from Athens, and the Spar- 
tans were driven away with a loss of five 
ships. They, however. Continued to occupy 
the densely wooded island of Sphacteria, which 
lay across the entrance to the bay of Pylus. 

This place was now closely blockaded by the 
Athenian squadron, and it presently became 
apparent that the Peloponnesian army was re* 
duced to great straits. The Spartan Ephors, 
after having themselves reconnoitered the 
situation, decided that there was no hope but 
to surrender. An embassy was accordingly 
sent to Athens, and the assembly at last had 
the inexpressible joy of seeing a company of 
saturnine Spartan envoys humbly suing for 
peace! Cleon was in his glory, and, taking 
advantage of the occasion, insisted upon such 
extravagant terms as could not be granted 
but by the ruin of the Lacedaemonians. The 
views of the demagogue prevailed over pru- 
dence, and the opportunity for a favorable 
peace was thrown away. The envoys were 
sent back to Pylus, and Demosthenes was 
ordered to press the siege of Sphacteria to a 
successful issue. The armistice broke up in 
mutual bad faith, and hostilities were at once 

The Spartans, now grown desperate, sue- 
ceeded by one means and another in getting 
a considerable quantity of provisions to the 
island, and the siege was indefinitely prolonged. 
While the Athenians were expecting to hear 
of the capture of the Spartan army, a demand 
came for reenforcements. There was a reao* 



tioQ in the assembly, and Cleon was about to 
lose his grip ; but he turned furiously upon 
Nicias, one of the generals, and accused him 
of being the cause of the delay and disap- 
pointment. The braggart then went on to 
declare that if he were straiegm, he would 
take Sphacteria in twenty days. Thereupon 
Nicias moved that Cleon be given the com- 
mand ! In spite of an attempted escape from 
his own trap, the demagogue was obliged to 
accept what the assembly now thrust upon 
him, and without one day's military experience 
he departed with a small force to take com- 
mand at Pylus! 

On arriving at the scene Cleon found the 
Athenians already preparing for an assault on 
the island. By accident a fire was kindled in 
the edge of the forest, which, blown into a con- 
flagration by the wind, swept through the 
island and destroyed the forest, which had 
thus far been the main protection of the 
Spartans. The latter were thus exposed to an 
attack. The Athenians, led by Demosthenes 
and Cleon, landed in force, and a battle of 
unusual severity was fought, in which the 
Spartans were completely defeated. In answer 
to a demand for surrender, the remnant threw 
down their shields and held up their hands! 

Such a scene had not before been witnessed 
in Greece. It was the Spartan code to con- 
quer or die ; but now two hundred and ninety- 
two of the supposed invincibles, many of them 
of the best families in Laconia, gave them" 
selves into the power of an enemy. The 
victory was complete. Pylus was strengthened. 
The prisoners were taken to Athens; and 
before the expiration of the twenty days 
Cleon, by the strange favor of fortune, stood 
in the assembly and presented his prisoners! 

After the siege of Sphacteria, the Athenian 
fleet, under Eurymedon and Sophocles, pro- 
ceeded to Corcyra, and aided the people of 
that island in reducing the last post held by 
the oligarchs, the fortress of Istone. This 
place was surrendered on condition that the 
prisoners should be spared until they should 
be condemned after a formal trial before the 
assembly ; but they were presently induced to 
try to escape, for the express -purpose that a 
pretext might be found ibr their destruction. ( 

Eurymedon consented to this atrocious piece 
of business, and all the prisoners were led out 
two by two and put to death. 

At this juncture the Athenians were un- 
doubtedly in a position to have procured 
terms of peace most advantageous to the 
state ; but they gave themselves up to passion 
and continued hostility. In the beginning of 
the eighth year they reduced the important 
island of Cythera, and once more ravaged the 
coasts of Laconia. They then undertook a 
campaign against the Megarians, and another 
into Boeotia. In the first of these some ad* 
vantages were gained, and the town of 
Nissaea was taken and occupied by an Athe- 
nian garrison. But the Boeotian expedition 
ended in disaster. The state was invaded on 
both sides simultaneously, by Demosthenes 
and Hippocrates. The former found the 
country preoccupied, and was obliged to re- 
tire, and the latter, after having gained pos* 
session of the temple of Apollo at Delium, 
and garrison od the town, was overtaken in 
the plain f Oropus and completely routed. 
Nothing but the approach of night saved any 
part of the Athenian army from the fury of 
the heavy-armed soldiers of BoBOtia. Delium 
was retaken, and the campaign closed with 
the complete recovery of the country from 
Athenian influence. 

In the mean time the long-cherished plan 
of Sparta to overthrow the rule of her rival 
in Thrace was successfully carried out by 
Brasidas. With a force of one thousand 
seven hundred picked troops he made his way 
through Thess&ly, and, forming a junction 
with the forces of Perdiccas of Macedon, pro- 
ceeded into Thrace. Here his conduct was 
such as to win over a large part of those who 
adhered to the Athenian cause. The two 
towns of Acanthus and Stagirus received him 
gladly. He then urged his way to the iin- 
portant colony of Amphipolis, on the river 
Strymon. Even this place was surrendered 
without a siege, as were also most of the towns 
in the Chalcidician peninsulas. 

The effect was such that Athens was now, 
in her turn, anxious for peace. In the ninth 
year after the opening of hostilities (B. C. 
423), a truce was agreed to for twelve months. 


673 . 

and boUi parties found time to breathe from 
the long struggle in which they had been en- 
gaged. In the beginning of the next year, 
however, the war was renewed, and Cleon 
made an effort to recover Thrace. With a 
large army he went againet Amphipolis, which 
was defended by Brasidas. The latter, with 
his lai^ military experience, was more than 
a match for the loud democrat whom accident 
bad once led to victory. Brasidas soon lulled 
hie antagonist into fancied security, and then 
Batlied out and inflicted a terrible defeat. 
Cleon was killed, together with half of the 
Athenian soldiery. The rest were scattereid 
to the winds. Brasidas, however, was mor- 
tally wo\ nded in the battie, and was carried 
into the tuwn to die. He was buried in the 
agora, and was henceforth honored as acut, 
or founder of Amphipolis. 

The war had now degenerated into per- 
sonal ant^onisms and recrimination?. By 
the death of the two leaders, the one a 
"king" of Sparta and the other the popular 
despot of the Athenian assembly, the princi- 
pal agents in perpetuating the strife were re- 
moved. Nicias.whonowassumeuuieleadership 
in Athens, and Pleistoanax, the other Spartan 
king, were both favorable to peace. In B. C. 
421 n^otiadons were opened, and were soon 
brought to a successful issue in a proclamation 
of peace for fif^ years. The leading princi- 
ple assumed in the pacification was a mutual 
restitution of prisoners and conquests. Upon 
this, however, there were some restrictions. 
Thebes was permitted to retain Platsaa. 
Athens kept Nisstea — the seaport of Me- 
garis — Anactorium, and Sollium. Several 
towns regained their independence. Others, 
which were left, tributary to the Athenians, 
had their tax reduced to the scale established 
by Aristides. The allies of Athens were gen- 
erally pleased with the settlement, but the 
dependent states of the league against her 
were filled with resentment towards Sparta, 
for whom they had fought eleven years, and 
by whom they were now abandoned. Btsotia, 
Corinth, Elis, and Megaris refused to sign the 
treaty, and their attitude became so hostile 
that Sparta made an alliance with Athens to 
muntaitt the compact. — Thus did the Peace 

OF Xicus at last afford to distracted Greece 
an opportunity to recuperate her powers, bo 
terribly shattered by the shocks and ravage* 
of civil war. 

Much difficulty was experienced in at- 
tempting to secure compliance with the terms 
of the treaty. The Spartans found it impos- 
sible to -surrender Amphipolis to the Athe- 
nians, for the inhabitants infused to accede to 
the transfer. Thereupon the authorities of 
Athens declined to surrender the harbor of 
Pylus. The disaffected Corinthians, now en- 
tirely alienated from Sparta, projected the 
scheme of a new Laccdiemoi lian confederacy, 
with Ai^os at the head, (n the midst of 
these complications, Alcibubbs appeared oa 
the stage of 
Athenian poli- 
tics. He soon 
became one of 
the most strik- 
ing figures that, 
had risen in that 
stormy arena. 
Young and bril> 
liant, of an il- 



scent, dashing 
and courteous, 
quick in concep- 
tion and fertile 
in expedients, 

unscrupulous and reckless, he possessed tha 
very qualities which in success would make, 
and in disaster mar, an Athenian statesmaiL 
His ambifion was as boundless as his conduct 
was notorious. Not even the austere genius 
of his instructor, Socrates, could bring the 
audacious and extravagant youth to any 
thing like a decent discipline. 

The first noted public appearance of this 
distinguished youth was on the occasion of 
the coming of the Lacediemoniau ambassadon 
requesting the surrender of Pylus. He at first 
violently opposed the petition, and even went 
so far as to urge the sending of an embassy 
to Argos to solicit that city to become a mem- 
ber in a new Athenian league. In spite of 
the earnest efforts of Nicias and of the pro- 
tests of the Spartan ambassador, Alcibiades, 



bj means of intrigue and bluster, succeeded 
in this work, and not only Argos, but also 
Elis and Mantinea, agreed to maintain an 
alliance with Athens for a hundred years. 

In the next year, B. C. 419, the Athenians 
were again admitted to the Olympic games. 
It was supposed that, just emerging from a 
long and ruinous war, she would present but 
a sorry figure at the great festival. What, 
therefore, was the surprise of the assembled 
states when Alcibiades himself entered for the 
games seven four-horse chariots, and with 
these gained both the first and the second 
prize? Besides his display in the races, he 
procured from his countrymen one of the 
richest general exhibits ever presented on such 
an occasion; and at the conclusion of the 
celebration all Greece rang with the praises 
of the Athenians. 

But Alcibiades was a politician as well as 
a racer. He visited several Peloponnesian 
towns, with the purpose of alienating them 
more and more from the Spartan cause. 
These proceedings continued until the Lace- 
dsemonians were obliged to resist. They 
marched into Argos and gained a position 
from which they might soon have won a 
marked success; but Agis, the commander, 
permitted himself to be tricked into a truce 
by the machinations of Alcibiades, who then 
gathered a force of Argives and Athenians 
and invaded Mantinea. Near the temple of 
Hercules they were met by the Spartan army 
under Agis, and were disastrously defeated. 
It was estimated that one thousand one hun- 
dred men of the allied forces perished in the 
battle. This success mduced the state of 
Argolis to detach itself from Athens and return 
to its old relations with the LacedsBmonians. 

In the year B. C. 416, the Athenians suc- 
ceeded in the capture of Melos and Thera, 
the only islands in the ^gean not hitherto 
brought under their dominion. In the con- 
quest of the Melians — whose only offense con- 
sisted in refusing to surrender to those who 
had attacked them in a time of peace — the 
Athenians crowned all their preceding atroc- 
ities by putting the male citizens of the island 
to death and selling the women and children 
into slavery. 

In the mean time, about B. C. 428, the 
Dorian race in Sicily, under the leadership 
of Syracuse, had become identified with the 
Peloponnesian league, then at war with 
Athens. War had been declared against the 
towns of Leontini and Camarina, as well as 
the Italian city of Rhegium. Hereupon the 
Leontinians sent their orator, Gorgias, to 
Athens to solicit aid. At that time the 
Athenians voted aid to all the enemies of 
Sparta; so a fleet of twenty sail was sent to 
help the anti-Lacedsemonian league in the 

In the following year another squadron 
of forty galleys was sent to Sicily, and it now 
became apparent that Athens instead of help- 
ing others entertained the covert purpose of 
helping herself to the possession of the whole 
island. A reaction occurred among the Sicil- 
ians, and the expedition was obliged to sail 
home in disgrace. Three years later, however, 
the Leontinians again asked for assistance, 
but the Athenians were not then in a condi- 
tion to give it; but when, in B. C. 416, the 
application was renewed from the town of 
Egesta, then at war with Selinus, Alcibiades 
espoused the project, and a resolution of sup- 
port was about to be voted ; but the cautious 
Nicias interposed and induced the assembly 
first to send an embassy to Egesta to see 
whether the game was worth the expenditure. 
The Egestaeans entertained the envoys. They 
took them into the temple of Aphrodite and 
displayed a vast heap of treasures which were 
boTTowed for the occasion I They gave a ban- 
quet which nearly exhausted the resources of 
the town. But the ambassadors were gener- 
ously hoodwinked, and took home a glowing 
account of the luxury of the western city! 
So it was at once resolved to espouse the 
cause of these wealthy petitioners, and a squad- 
ron of a hundred ships — und^ the joint com- 
mand of Nicias, Alcibiades, and Lamachus — 
was dispatched to Sicily. 

No enterprise ever undertaken by the 
Greeks was more enthusiastically prosecuted. 
Crowds of volunteers came forward and 
begged to be accepted for the expedition. 
The three commanders vied with each other 
in the equipment of their respective ships. 



Hie Athenians gave themselves to the work 
of preparation as if to a holiday. Finally, 
when every thing was in readiness, and the 
fleet was on the eve of departure, an event 
occurred which not only dampened the public 
ardor but stirred the superstitions and fears 
df the people to their profoundest depths. In 
a single night the statues of the god Hermes, 
which stood at the street comers and in all 
the public places of the city, were mutilated 
and knocked to pieces. No such a shocking 
sacrilege had ever before been known in the 
history of the country. No reason could be 
assigned for the act. The universality of the 
destruction indicated that it had been accom- 
plished by a band of conspirators acting se- 
cretly in the dead of night. No one was 
detected in the work. The people awoke in 
the morning to find the sacred busts in front 
of their houses wantonly disfigured or broken 
into a shapeless mass. The excitement and 
indignation of the public knew no bounds. 
A commission was at once appointed to 
examine witnesses and discover the perpetra- 
tors of the crime ; but the investigation was 
without practical results. Suspicion fell 
upon Alcibiades, but no proof was discovered 
against him. The suspicion, however, held 
fast, and when no evidence could be adduced 
of his guilt in the mutilation of the Hermse, 
Pythonicus, one of the leaders of the Assem- 
bly, preferred against him the charge of hav- 
ing profaned the Eleusinian mysteries by 
giving a representation of them in private. 
In proof of this the testimony of a slave was 
given ; but Alcibiades denied the charge and 
demanded an investigation. The inquiry, 
however, was, by the machinations of his ene- 
mies, postponed until after the return of the 
expedition. It was thus contrived that Alci- 
biades should depart under a cloud. Mean- 
while, the preparation of the fleet was com- 
pleted, and Corcyra was named as the place 
of rendezvous. The departure of the squad- 
ron was such a scene as the Athenians had 
never witnessed. The force consisted of two 
thousand two hundred and fifty heavy-armed 
soldiers. At day-break these marched on 
board of the gayly decorated vessels lying at 
the wharves of Pirseus. Nearly the whole 

population of the city lined the shores. A 
blast of the trumpet proclaimed silence. Then 
was heard the voice of the herald lifted in 
prayer to the country's gods. The war paaaa 
of the Greek was chanted, and libations wera 
poured into the sea from goblets of gold and 
silver. Then each galley, as if in a race, 
started for the island of ^gina. Thence the 
squadron sailed to Corcyra, where it was aug- 
mented by the arrival of thirty-four galleys 
and nearly six thousand troops sent by the 
states in alliance with Athens. On arriving 
at Southern Italy, the Greeks were coldly re- 
ceived. Even at Rhegium permission to pur- 
chase supplies was granted with reluctance. 
In the mean time the news was borne to Syra- 
cuse and preparations were immediately made 
to defend the city. 

While lying in the harbor of Rhegium, 
the Greek commanders fell into serious dis- 
putes about the purposes and plans of the 
expedition. Nicias was in favor of limiting 
the campaign to the reduction of Selinus; 
while Alcibiades and Lamachus proposed that 
the capture of Syracuse should be included ia 
their conquest. Lamachus favored an imme* 
diate attack upon the Sicilian capital while 
it was yet unprepared for defense. Alcibiades, 
however, preferred such a delay as would 
enable him to procure assistance from the 
Italian allies of Athens. This view prevailed. 
For the present nothing was done except to 
explore the harbor of Syracuse and to take 
possession of Catana, which was henceforth 
used as a base of supplies and operations for 
the Greek squadron. 

At this point news was received from 
Athens indicating an extremely unfortunate 
state of afiairs in the city. Terror had seized 
the public mind on account of the mutila- 
tion of the HermsB. The charge of having 
committed that crime was again brought for- 
ward against Alcibiades. Many persons were 
arrested, among whom was an orator named 
Andocides, who turned informer, and by 
means of his own testimony and that of slaves 
secured the conviction and execution of a 
number of citizens. This had the efiTect to 
quiet public excitement, but the persons put 
to death were doubtless innocent of the crime. 



The charge of having profaned the Eleu- 
giniaQ mysteries was still unanswered, and a 
yote was passed by the assembly demanding 
the return of Alcibiades for trial. A galley 
was dispatched to Sicily to bring him to 
Athens ; but on his way home he effected his 
escape and sailed to Sparta. The Athenian 
court regarding this flight as a confession of 
guilt, condemned him to death, and ordered 
the confiscation of his property. Qn hearing 
of his sentence, Alcibiades remarked with non- 
dudance, '* I will show the Athenians that I 
am still alive.'' 

Meanwhile the operations in Sicily had 
made no progress. The Syracusans were not 
even annoyed at the presence of an enemy 
80 little aggressive. Their horsemen rode 
around the Athenian camp and insulted the 
garrisoix. A rumor was now blown abroad 
that the inhabitants of Catana were them- 
selves on the eve of expelling the Athenians. 
In order to a^asist this movement, the Svra- 
cusan army drew out of the city and marched 
to the aid of the Catanseans. Seizing the op- 
portunity afforded by their absence, Nicias 
succeeded in conveying his whole squadron 
into the harbor, effected a landing near the 
temple of the Olympian Zeus, and threw up 
fortifications. Here he was presently attacked 
by the Syracusan army returning from Ca- 
tana, but the victory remained with the Athe- 
nians, who presently withdrew into winter- 
quarters at Naxos. From this point Nicias 
sent messengers to Athens asking fresh sup- 
plies of troops and means. A reenforcement 
of cavalry was accordingly sent out, with 
three hundred talents in money. 

With the spring, the siege of Syracuse' 
began. The city lay upon a peninsula be- 
tween the Great and Little harbors. On the 
land side it was defended by a wall, and the 
sea-front was protected by the nature of the 
ground and by fortifications. In the northern 
suburbs of the city, however, was a high 
ground called Epipolse, and of this the Athe- 
nians succeeded in gaining possesion. An 
attempt of the Syracusans to dislodge them 
was repulsed. Here Nicias constructed a fort, 
and the siege was pressed by both sea and 

In the mean time Lamachus had died, and 
the whole command devolved upon Nicias, 
who was inferior to his colleague in energy. 
By this time the Syracusans became discour- 
aged and made overtures of surrender: but 
Nicias, ovefHJonfident, of success, paid little 
attention to the proposals and continued the 
siege. At this juncture, however, Gylippus, 
the Spartan general, arrived with a small 
squadron in the bay of Tarentum. Thenoe 
he proceeded to Himera, and, publishing to 
the people that other forces from his country 
would soon arrive, he gathered an army of 
three thousand men and marched to the relief 
of Syracuse. He succeeded in passing the 
heights of Epipolse, and entered the city 
without opposition. Having effected a junc- 
tion with the Syracusans, he sent an audacious 
message to Nicias, allowing him five days to 
gather his effects and leave Sicily. 

It would have been well if Niciafi had 
taken the advice of his enemy, for the latter 
very soon turned the tide of success against 
the Athenians. The Syracusans in their turn 
captured and fortified the heights of Epipolse. 
Nor was it long — such was the activity of 
Gylippus — until the Athenians were put into 
the attitude of a besieged rather than a besieg- 
ing army. Nicias fell sick and sisked to be 
recalled. Instead of complying with this re- 
quest, however, the Athenians sent out addi- 
tional-troops under command of Demosthenes 
and Eurymedon. The Spartans also reen- 
forced their Sicilian army, and the Syracusans 
presently gave battle to the Athenian fleet. 

The latter gained an indecisive victory, but 
while the battle was in progress, Gylippus made 
an assault upon some of the forts erected by 
Nicias and captured them, with large quanti- 
ties of provisions. In a short time the Syra- 
cusans sailed boldly out into Great Harbor, 
and again gave battle to the fleet. This time 
the Athenian squadron was routed, and the 
remnant of the ships was only saved from de- 
struction by being drawn to the shore under 
protection of the Athenian works. 

At this juncture a new fleet of seventy- 
five vessels, carrying five thousand heavy* 
armed troops, arrived from Athens. Demos- 
thenes, the commander, immediately made an 




attempt to take Epipolse, but was repulsed. 
He then urged Nicias to withdraw from his 
dangerous position in Great Harbor and retire 
to Thapsus; but just as this movement was 
about to begin an eclipse of the moon oc- 
curred, and the seers declared that the fleet 
must not leave its moorings for a lunar 
month.^ Their decision was complied with, 
and the Syracusans, learning how matters 
stood, determined to make a league with 
superstition and. destroy the foe before the 
next full moon. They accordingly blocked 
up the mouth of Great Harbor with a cordon 
of galleys. So the Athenian squadron of one 
hundred and ten triremes was cooped up, with 
no opportunity of escape except by battle. 

It was, however, resolved to break through 
at all hazards. Accordingly, on an appointed 
morning, the fleet of Nicias loosed its moor- 
ings and proceeded to the attack. Nearly the 
whole population of the city lined the shores 
of the bay. The larger part of the Athenian 
land-forces were put on board of the ships, and 
the remainder looked on from the fortifica- 
tions. The attack was directed first against 
the line of galleys by which the mouth of the 
harbor was blockaded. But the latter held 
their position. Presently the whole armament 
on both sides was engaged, and for some time 
the battle hung dubiously between the com- 
batants. Then the Athenians began to give 
way. Nearly a half of their vessels were 
destroyed, and the rest driven back to the 
protection of the shore. The victory was in 
every respect complete and overwhelming. 

The Athenians were still about forty thou- 
sand strong. As soon as the battle was de- 
cided, they determined, if possible, to escape 
from their perilous position. The only course 
remaining was a retreat overland to the 
shelter of some friendly town, where they 
might defend themselves until succored by re- 
inforcements. But instead of taking advan- 
tage of the confusion of the first night after 
his defeat, Nicias waited till the next; and 
the Syracusans thus found time to gather and 
fall upon the retreating column. In the at- 
tempt to reach the coast, Demosthenes, who 
commanded the rear division, was cut off*, and 

* This eclipse occurred August 27, B. C. 413. 

after fighting until his forces were greatly le* 
duced, was obliged to surrender. Finally, 
Gylippus overtook Nicias, who, with the 
army, . now numbering no more than ten 
thousand men, was still struggling to gain the 
coast. Arriving at the river Erineus, they 
attempted to cross, but the enemy crowd^ 
them down the banks and into the stream. 
All hope was abandoned. The army became 
a disorganized mass and was forced to sun^n* 
der at discretion. The remainder of the fleet 
had been given up at the beginning of the 
retreat Not a vestige remfuned. No such 
complete destruction of an army and squad- 
ron had ever been known. The prisoners 
were sent to work in the stone-quarries, where, 
huddled together, driven to their tasks without 
sufficient food, and exposed to the elements, 
they soon began to die of exhaustion and 
pestilence, until the survivors sickened and 
fell over the bodies of the dead. All were 
enslaved except the Athenians and the Sicilian 
Greeks. Among^ these were many men of 
culture and refinement; and a tradition recites 
that not a few of these gained the esteem of 
their masters by enactmg for them the plays 
of the Greek dramatists. Demosthenes and 
Nicias were both condemned to death, the 
only favor shown them being the concessioii 
of suicide instead of a public execution. 

Soon after the appalling disaster just re- 
corded, the news was carried into Athens by 
a barber of Pirseus. So incredible appeared 
his story that the authorities put him to the 
torture. Presently, however, straggling fugi- 
tives began to arrive with confirmation of the 
awful intelligence. The Athenians were first 
furious and then gave themselves up to de- 
spair. It was seen at a glance that no power 
could much longer prevent the capture of 
the city by the Lacedaemonians. Neverthe- 
less the authorities began to bestir themselves 
for the public defense. It was, however, the 
misfortune of the city of Athens that military 
success was constantly necessary to preserve 
the loyalty of her dependent cities and islands. 
Whenever the tide turned against her, these 
dependencies would not only abandon her in- 
terests, but enter into leagues for her de- 





In the present emergency the first to 
revolt was the island of Chios. The insur- 
rection was instigated by Alcibiades, who, 
now residing at Sparta, lost no opportunity 
to inflict on his country some humiliating 
injury. He crossed over in person to- the 
island, and aided the insurgents in overthrow- 
ing the party favorable to Athens. The 
islands of Zeos and Lesbos and the city of 
Miletus followed the example of Chios ; and 
the Ionian cities on the coast of Asia Minor 
were given up by a treaty with Tissaphemes 
to their masters, the Persians. Samos, how- 
ever, remained faithful to the Athenians. 
The oligarchy in that bland was suppressed, 
and Samos became a kind of stronghold of 
Athenian influence in the .£gean. 

In the mean time, Athens began to recover 
from her overthrow. The reserve of one 
thousand talents which had lain undisturbed 
in the Acropolis since the administration of 
Pericles, was now voted by the assembly to 
be used in the construction of a fleet. When 
this was completed, an expedition was fitted 
out against Chios, and that island was rapidly 
overrun and restored to its former relations. 
A victory was also gained over the Lacedae- 
monian squadron at Miletus, but that city 
still remained under the control of the Per- 
sians. Tl^ Spartans soon prepared another 
armament so powerful in numbers and equip- 
ment that its ability to overcome all opposi- 
tion could not be reasonably questioned. 

Alcibiades, in the mean time, from his long- 
continued duplicity, had gained the distrust 
and aversion of the Spartan government. 
The Ephors first denounced, him as a traitor 
and then condemned him to death, but he 
escaped the penalty by fleeing to the court of 
Tissaphemes. He at once set about to per- 
suade the satrap to adopt a new line of policy 
with regard to the Greek states. The wily 
Greek soon convinced him that the interest 
of Persia required that the Grecian common- 
wealths should be allowed to wear each other 
out in mutual conflicts to the end that the 
Grea^ King might absorb the fragments into 
his empire. It was thb influence aided by 
bribery that prevented the activity of the 
Spartan squadron. Persia was thus won over 

to favor the Athenian cause. The real pur 
pose of Alcibiades was to get himself restored 
to his country. He communicated with the 
Athenian generals at Samos, and made it 
appear that he was able to secure a Persian 
alliance and would gladly do so on condition 
of his own restoration, and the substitution 
of an oligarchy for the democratic form of 
government in Athens. A proposition to 
this eflect was brought forward in the assem- 
bly by Pisander. The democracy was furious 
at the proposal ; but the necessity of the state 
was so great that a vote was procured in fieivor 
of the overthrow of the constitution of Clis- 
thenes. Pisander was then dispatched at the 
head of an embassy to treat with Alcibiades 
and Tissaphemes with respect to the proposed 
alliance ; but when the ambassadors were re- 
ceived by the satrap, Alcibiades, speaking on 
his behalf and knowing his own inability to 
perform what he had promised, made such 
extravagant demands of his countrymen that 
they were obliged to break up the conference. 
In the mean time oligarchical clubs were 
multiplied in Athens, and under their influ- 
ence the democracy was subjected to a reign 
of terror. Assassination became the order of 
the day, and it was soon evident that the revo- 
lution in the government would be accom- 
plished. Pisander, on his return from Asia 
proposed a committee of ten to draft a new 
constitution. The instrument when produced 
provided first for the overthrow of the exist- 
ing magistrates ; secondly, for the abolition of 
all official salaries; thirdly, for the appoint* 
ment of a council of Four Hundred, with 
whom the principal functions of governments 
should be lodged ; and fourthly, for the limi- 
tation of the right of sufirage to a body of 
five thousand citizens. The revolution was 
Completed by force. The old senate was 
ejected by the Four Hundred, who were in- 
stalled in the ancient seats of authority. 
Then followed proscriptions and confiscations. 
The principal leaders of the democracy were 
assassinated. The next movement was to 
send an embassy to Sparta with overtures for 
peace ; out Agis, the king, preferred to com- 
pel a settlement on his own terms. He ac- 
cordingly made an attempt to capture Athens, 



out being foiled, he concluded to enter into 
negotiations with the Athenians. 

It was one of the peculiarities of this 
stormy period in Greek history that the de- 
mocracy, which had been overthrown in its 
original stronghold, was still upheld in Samos. 
The army now in that island, led by Thxasy- 
bulus and Thrasyllus, remained loyal to the 
old institutions of Athens. It was through 
the influence of these leaders that Alcibiades, 
who was now on the side of democracy, but 
always on the side of himself, was elected one 
of the generals of the army. That distin- 
guished patriot began at once to magnify his 
o£Sce by passing to and fro in the assumed 
character of an ambassador between Asia and 
continental Greece. Thus would he induce 
the belief among his democratic countrymen 
that he was busy with the construction of the 
Perso-Atheuian alliance. 

As soon as the Four Hundred heard of 
the condition of affairs in Samos they sent 
thither an embassy to explain the change in 
the government and to demand the accept- 
ance of the same by the people. The envoys 
were met with disdain both by the citizens 
and soldiery. A proposition had already been 
made in the army to proceed against Athens 
and overthrow the usurpers, and but for the 
influence of the more dispassionate there is no 
doubt that such a movement would have been 
undertaken. As it was the ambassadors were 
dismissed with ill-disguised contempt. They 
were told that the Four Hundred must sur- 
render their places, and that the old Senate 
must be restored as conditions precedent to 
the maintenance of peace. 

Already in Athens there were symptoms 
of an anti-oligarchic revolution. The extreme 
leaders under the new regime had gone to the 
length of proposing that a Spartan garrison 
should be established in Pirseus. The Lacedae- 
monians, however, did not fall in with this 
scheme, but sent a fleet to cruise in the neigh- 
boring waters, until a more fayorable season. 
In the mean time the democracy gained con- 
stantly, and in a short time an assembly was 
held at Piraeus by which the old forms of 
government were again instituted. 

About this time a revolt broke out in Euboea, 

instigated by the Spartans and supported by 
their fleet. Athens was astounded to learn 
that her greatest and nearest dependency had 
renounced her friendship and assumed her 
freedom. *An Athenian fleet hastily sent to 
the rescue was attacked and annihilated by 
the Lacedaemonian squadron. Athens was 
thus left naked to her enemies. The popular 
voice clamored in the streets, and an assembly 
was called in the Pnyx. A vote was passed 
by which the Four Hundred were deposed 
and the Senate reinstated in its ancient au- 
thority. The old constitution was restored in 
all of its features, except that the restriction 
by which the right of suflrage was limited to 
five thousand citizens was allowed to stand. 
Those who had participated in the late oligar- 
chy were permitted to leave Athens or to hide 
themselves in obscurity. Only two of the 
leaders, Antiphon and Archiptolemus, were 
condemned and executed, and a few others 
were punished by the confiscation of their 
property, or the destruction of their houses. 
In a short time the office of archon was re- 
created, and this was followed by a vote 
recalling Alcibiades and hb friends from exile. 

In the conduct of the war the next impor- 
tant movement was a naval battle between 
the Athenians and Lacedaemonians in the 
strait between Sestos and Abydos. The 
former were victorious, and set up a trophy 
on the headland of Cynossema, from which 
place the battle takes its name. The Spartan 
squadron, now lying at Euboea, hearing of the 
disaster which had overtaken their friends, 
sailed for the Hellespont, but while doubling 
Mount Athos the fleet was caught in a storm 
and totally wrecked. The remnant of the 
other armament which had survived the battle 
was presently overtaken by Alcibiades, and 
only saved from total destruction by being 
drawn ashore, when the vessels were defended 
by the Persians. A short time afterwards, 
however, Mindarus was enticed to sea, attacked 
by the Athenian squadron, followed to the 
shore, and slain. Every Spartan ship was 
either taken or destroyed. The victory was 
so decisive as to recover for the Athenians 
the whole of. the Propontis. 

The Persians now actively aided the Lace* 



dsBmonians, but the energy of the Athenian 
fleets, now directed by Alcibiades, secured, in 
the years B. C. 409 and 408, complete control 
of the Hellespontine countries. Until this 
time the banished Alcibiades had not returned 
to Attica. In the spring of B. C. 407 he 
determined to avail himself of his recall and 
make a public visit to Athens. He accord- 
ingly sailed for Piraeus, where he was met by 
nearly the whole population of the city and 
escorted in triumph to the scene of his earliest 
career. Before the Senate and the Assembly 
he protested his innocence of the charges pre- 
ferred against him, and the sentences of con- 
fiscation and banishment were unanimously 
revoked. As for himself, he now through 
policy gave great attention to the national 
superstitions, and publicly conducted the pro- 
session in the celebration of the Eleusinian 
mysteries. In the following September •he 
put to sea, and was presently worsted by the 
Lacedaemonian fleet in the battle of Notium. 
His conduct, moreover, became as reckless 
and dissolute as ever. The news of his pro- 
ceedings was carried to Athens, and the good 
democracy of that city voted him out of com- 
mand and gave his place to Conon. 

Meanwhile, Callicratidas succeeded Lysander 
in the command of the Spartan squadron. 
He was a man of great energy, tod soon dif- 
fused a new life in the moribund frame of his 
country. Shortly afler assuming control of 
the fleet he gained a victory over the Athe- 
nians in the harbor of Mitylene, but Conon 
maintained his position until reenforcements 
arrived from Athens, and then took his sta- 
tion near the islands of Arginusae, close to the 
coast of Asia Minor. Here the Spartans gave 
battle. The Athenian fleet numbered one 
hundred and fifty vessels, and the Lacedae- 
monian one hundred and twenty. The con- 
flict was long and desperate. After losing 
seventy-seven ships and their brave com- 
mander, who was thrown overboard and 
drowned, the Spartans were disastrously de- 
feated. The battle was followed, however, by 
an event which took away the spirit of the 
victors. Twelve of the Athenian ships, which 
were disabled during the fight, were through 
•4ome carelessness left drifting helplessly with 

their crews of wounded and dying men until 
a sudden storm, swooping down upon them, 
sent the whole to the bottom of the sea. 

The Athenians immediately summoned the 
commanding generals — except Conon, who had 
followed the remnant of the enemy's fleet to 
Mitylene — to answer for this neglect. Passion 
ran high, and in spite of the protest of Socrates 
and a few other cool-headed patriots, the aa- 
sembly voted that the commanders should be 
put to death. They were accordingly com- 
pelled to drink the fatal hemlock. Among 
those who thus perished ^aa the young Peri- 
cles, the promising son of the great statesman, 
and Aspasia. 

After the death of Callicratidas the com- 
mand of the Spartan fleet was again conferred 
on Lysander. He — after the year B. C. 405 
had been mostly consumed * in ' recuperating 
the squadron, and in negotiations with Cyrus 
the younger, now satrap of Asia Minor — ^laid 
siege to the Hellespontine town of Lampsacus. 
Thither he was followed by Conon, but the 
latter arrived too late to save the place from 

The Athenian fleet in September of B. C. 
405 took its station at -ffioospOTAMi, or Goat 
River, on the opposite side of the channel 
from Lampsacus. The position was an ex- 
posed one, but the Athenians were over-confi- 
dent, and for several days in succession they 
sailed into the open channel and oflered bat* 
tie to the Spartans. This, however, was de- 
clined. Lysander kept his forces in hand and 
waited his opportunity. Alcibiades, who now 
lived in a castle in the neighborhood, and was 
to all appearances out of politics, came down 
to his countrymen, and besought them to find 
a stronger position ; but his precautions were 
treated with indifference. The Athenians 
scattered themselves about their camp and 
gave no further thought to the situation. On 
the fifth day of these dilatory proceedings, 
Lysaqder, having watched his opportunity, 
swooped down upon the Athenians while a 
large part of them were dispersed through the 
country, and inflicted upon them the most 
ruinous defeat of the whole war. Of the one 
hundred and eighty ships which composed the 
squadron only eight or ten succeeded *in 





escaping. The remainder were either captured 
or destroyed. The prisoners, to the number 
of three or four thousand, including the gen- 
'^rals — with the exception of Conon, who es- 
<»iped and found a hiding-place in Cyprus — 
were condemned and put to death! The 
whole force was annihilated. 

Athens was left without a shadow of de- 
fense, except what measures she could extem- 
porize, against the coming doom. When the 
Paralus* arrived at Piraus and the news was 
known, there was universal despair. Xeno- 
phon declares that on that night no man 
slept. It was now a question of existence with 
her who had so long been mistress of the sea. 
Two out of the three harbors of the city were 
blocked up in the vain hope of defending the 
third. Lysander was in no haste. The Athe- 
nian supplies from the Euxine were wholly 
cut off, and from afar Famine and Sparta 
both lifted a sword against the doomed city. 

Beginning his progress towards the capital, 
Lysander compelled the garrisons cf the 
various towns en roiUe to quit their places and 
repair to Athens. In every city the demo- 
cratic form of government was overthrown, 
and an oligarchy, consisting of ten members 
with a Spartan Hamwd at the head, appointed 
in its stead. In their desperation, the people 
of Athens gathered in an assembly and voted 
a general amnesty. The prisons were opened, 
and all except a few of the worst criminals 
were liberated. Then the oligarchic and dem- 
ocratic factions swore an oath of mutual for- 
giveness, and agreed henceforth to labor only 
for the common weal. 

Finally, Lysander made his appearance. 
With a fleet of one hundred and fifty galleys 
he landed at ^gina, and then proceeded to 
blockade Pirseus. Salamis was ravagisd by 
the army, which marched without opposition 
to the very gates of Athens. Inside the walls, 
however, determination was mixed with de- 
spair, and the first proposals made to them by 
the Spartans were rejected. The people began 
to die of hunger, and yet Archestratus was 
imprisoned for proposing to accept the prof- 

*The Paralus was the commander's galley in 
an Athenian fleet, corresponding to the flag-ship 
hi a modem navy. 

fered terms. After three months of dreadful 
sufiering, the spint of the people was at last 
completely broken, and Theramenes was sent 
to Sparta to conclude with the Ephors the best 
treaty which they would grant. 

The states in alliance with the Lacedse- 
monians, more particularly Corinth and 
Thebes, insisted that the very name of Athens 
should be blotted out, and the residue of her 
population sold into slavery; but the Spartans 
themselves interfered to prevent so brutal a 
proceeding. One of the Ephors even ven- 
tured on a figure of speech, and declared that 
Sparta would never consent that one of the eyes 
of Greece should be put out. Still the terms 
were sufficiently severe and humiliating. The 
Long Walls of Athens should be thrown down. 
The fortifications of the Piraeus and Phalerum 
should be razed. The territorial limits of the 
Athenians should be contracted to Attica. 
All foreign possessions should be given up. 
All ships of war should be surrendered. All 
exiles should be unconditionally restored. 
The Athenians should become the allies of 
the Spartans. These terms, hard as they 
were, were immediately accepted by the as- 
sembly, and it only remained for the Athe- 
nians to comply with the conditions. 

The winter had now worn away. In 
March of B. C. 404, the city was formally 
surrendered. It was the last act in a war 
which, through every grade of ferocity, had 
continued for twenty-seven years. Lysander 
at once proceeded to exact the fulfillment of 
the terms of the treaty. The dock-yards were 
burned and the arsenals destroyed. All the 
Athenian galleys except twelve were sent to 
Sparta. Then came the demolition of the 
fortifications. It was no light task, for the 
works were of great solidity and massiveness. 
The overthrow of the Long Walls was a task 
tedious and difficult. But the Spartans, in 
mockery, converted the work into a festival I 
Bands of flute-players and dancers wreathed 
with flowers accompanied the workmen, and 
as the heavy stones were pried from their 
beds and cast down, shout after shout echoed 
the downfall of Athenian glory. Kor did the 
demolition cease until not one stone was left 
upon another. She who, by the splendor of 



ber genius, had diffuded a lustrous light into 
the abodes of barbarism, was left naked to 
her enemies — a pitiable spectacle of wretched- 
neas and despair. 

As soon as the Spartans had completed 
their work and the dismantled city was left 
to herself, there was a revival of faction. 
The oligarchic minority was reenforced by the 
return of many exiles who owed their banish- 
ment to democratic votes. Among these the 
most prominent character was Critias, the 
uncle of Plato. He, with Theramenes, hav- 
ing organized clubs and perfected arrange- 
ments for a revolution, invited Lysander to 
return from Samos, whither he had gone after 
the capitulation of Athens, and aid by his 
presence and influence in the contemplated 
eoup d Hat by which an oligarchy was to be 
established over the Athenians. A proposi- 
tion was then made in the assembly that a 
committee of thirty members be appointed to 
revise the constitution and provide for the 
future government of the city. Lysander 
himself addressed the assembly, and informed 
them that their personal safety depended upon 
an affirmative vote. Of course it was so re- 
corded. Critias and Theramenes headed the 
list of committeemen, who were henceforth 
known as the Thirty Tyrants. 

It will be remembered that Samos showed 
herself to be the last stronghold of Greek 
democracy. This island was accordingly in- 
vaded by Lysander, after the conquest of 
Attica had been completed, and, like the 
mother state, was soon driven to submission. 
This was the completion of the work of the 
Lacedsemonian fleet in the ^gean. As soon 
as terms of surrender had been accepted and 
the government settled on a new basis satis- 
&ctory to Lysander, he sailed for Sparta. No 
other general of those hitherto sent out by the 
Ephors had ever returned so completely vic- 
torious. He brought home the spoils and 
figure-heads of all the ships which he had 
taken. The booty was enormous, and besides 
what he had taken by force he turned over to 
the treasury four hundred and seventy talents 
which had been given him by the Persians 
for the prosecution of the war. 

In Athens the Thirty proceeded to organ- 
N— Vol. 1—36 

ize a reign of terror. Butchery was the order 
of the day. Sometimes there was a formal 
condemnation of the accused; sometimes 
there was none. The newly appointed sen- 
ators — mere tools of the Tyrants — were re- 
quired in voting to deposit their pebbles 
openly on a table in front of their masters-- 
this on questions of life and death I Bands 
of assassins were hired to complete the work 
of exterminating the democracy. At the last 
a proscription list was mad^ out, and the ad- 
herents of the Thirty were permitted to in- 
sert therein what names soever they pleased. 

The object became plunder rather than po- 
litical vengeance. No such scenes had ever 
before been witnessed in Athens. Neither 
rank nor virtue was spared. The orator Ly- 
sias and his brother Polemarchus were among 
the condemned. Theramenes, refusing to 
participate in the diabolical business, was 
himself denounced by Critias in the senate- 
house, and though clinging to an altar was 
dragged away to execution. When given the 
cup of hemlock he swallowed the draught, 
threw a drop of the poison on the floor, and 
exclaimed, ''Here's a health to the gentle 
Critias.'* It was amid such scenes that the 
liberties of Greece went out in darkness. 

It was in the midst of these proscriptions, 
but not by means of them, that Alcibiades 
met his fate. From his castle in Thradan 
Chersonesus he had watched the downfall of 
Athenfii and the progress of the oligarchical 
revolution. When the proscription began h^ 
became apprehensive of danger, and with 
good reason, for the Thirty had already in- 
cluded his name in a list of the condemned* 
Sacrificing a great part of his property, he 
fled for safety, with as much of his wealth 
as he could carry with him, to the court of 
Phamabazus, satrap of Phrygia. From him 
he sought the privilege of continuing his 
flight to Susa, where he thought to play the 
same part with Darius that Themistocles had 
played with Artaxerxes. But Phamabazus 
refused him conduct through the province, 
and in the meantime Lysander sent a dis- 
patch to the satrap to have the Athenian put 
to death. Acting under this order, a band 
of assassins set fire to the house of Alcibiades 


ftnd stood ready to cut him down. With un- 
flinching courage he seized his sword and 
rushed forth upon the dastards; but before 
he could reach them they pierced him through 
with their javelins. Thus, in a foreign land 
and unfriended, save by the womao Timan- 
4ra, who remained faithful to him until hie 
death, and performed alone for her brilliant 
and eccentric lord the rites of sepulture, per- 
ished the famous Alcibiades, who, but for a 
certain want of principle, which was indeed 
but the common vice of his countrymen. 

Even Thebes and Corinth turned their sym- 
pathies to the fallen Athens. A band of 
Athenian exiles, temporarily domiciled in Bcb- 
otia, found a leader in Thrasybulub, seized 
the fortress of Phyl^, and bade defiance to 
the oligarchy. The Thirty marched out with 
a force of Spartans and native cavalry, but 
were several times repulsed. Nor was it cer- 
tain but that the troops whom they com- 
manded, at least such of them as were Athe- 
nian bom, sympathized with Thrasybulni 
rather than with their masters. Encouraged 


would have been one of the greatest Greeks 
of his age. 

It was a part of the strange, bad temper 
of the Hellenic states that they always turued 
against the strongest. Sparta was now, after 
the complete humiliation — almost extinction — 
of her rival, destined to feel the force of this 
law. A reaction took place in the Greek 
mind unfavorable alike to the Lacedterao- 
nians and their leaders. Lysander himself, 
after a career of unparalleled popularity, 
power, and honor became, in the course of a 
wngle year, an object of suspicion and hatred. 

by hia success and the manifestatJona of pub- 
lic support, the Greek patriot abandoned 
Pbyl^ and seized Firseus. A large force was 
immediately sent against him, and a severe 
battle was fought, in which the army of the 
Thirty was completely routed. Among the 
best trophies of the field was the dead body 
of Critias, who was killed in the engagement. 
The death of this unprincipled tyrant threw 
the government into the hands of the more 
moderate of the oligarchical party, and a new 
revolution was effected, by which the Thirty 
were deposed, and a council of Ten appointed 



in their stead. Such were the mutterings of 
discontent that the new governors felt con- 
strained to call upon Pausanias, the Spartan 
lung, for assistance. The latter at the head 
of an army marched into Attica, and had 
several indecisive combats with Thrasybulus. 
But a desire for peace now pervaded all par- 
ties. Pausanias himself was at enmity with 
Lysander, and for this reason was less severe 
in determining the terms of settlement. With 
ringular liberality, considering the circum- 
stances, it was agreed that the Athenian exiles 
now under the banner of Thrasybulus should 
be unconditionally re-admitted to Athens, and 
as for the rest full amnesty should be granted 
to all except the Thirty and the Ten. 

As soon as this settlement was agreed to, 
Thrasybulus and the exiles returned in tri- 
umph to the city. There was a univei^l re- 
vival of democracy. An assembly was imme- 
diately convened, and a complete undoing of 
the work of the oligarchy was determined on. 
The whole field where tyranny had so long 
cultivated her brambles was plowed up to the 
subsoil and harrowed to a level. The laws 
of Solon and Draco were revised by a com- 
mittee and adopted by the assembly and the 
Senate.^ The old regime was revived in every 
part, and every effort was made by the new 
government to obliterate forever from public 
memory and the records of the state the his- 
tory and infamy of the recent tyrannies of. 
the Thirty and the Ten. 

It was at this juncture that Socrates, great- 
est spirit of the pagan world, was arrested 
and brought to his death. He fell a victim 
to superstition. As early as B. C. 423 he had 
been attacked — but not with great bitterness — 
by Aristophanes, in the comedy of the Chuds^ 
From this, however, he rallied and continued 
his teaching. For twenty-four years he dis- 
seminated his views on those subjects concern- 

*It was in the inscription of these revised 
statutes of Athens on the walls of the Poecil^ 
Stoa that the full Ionic alphabet of twenty-four 
letters was for the first time publicly employed. 
Its use for some time previously had beer common 
among the Athenian scholars, but for the public 
acts of the government the old Attic alphabet of 
sixteen or eighteen letters had always been 
hitherto used. 

ing which men have always felt the deepest 
mterest. Towards the close of the fifth cen- 
tury he fell under the suspicion of heterodoxy 
in the matter of the national religion. Koi 
is it likely that his resolute and glorious 
genius did tamely bow to the absurdities 
which ha as a teacher was expected to uphold 
and honor. In B. C. 399 an open accusation 
was brought against him by three fellows 
whose base spirits were fit for nothing else — 
Meletus, a seller of leather; Anytus, a third* 
rate poet; and Lycon, a bad rhetorician. 

This trio charged the philosopher before the 
assembly with neglecting the worship of the 
gods, with introducing ne^ deities, and also 
with corrupting the youth of the city. Soc- 
rat^ said little in defense, but rather pn>« 
voked his fate by a bold avowal of his prin- 
ciples. A small majority was obtained against 
him. Even then by the use of means within 
his reach he 'might have escaped death, but 
with lofty disdain he allowed the bigotry of 
his countrymen to take its course, and he was 
sentenced to drink the hemlock. He told his 
iudges that instead of being put to death he 
ought to be supported at public expense to 
teach in the Prytaneum! He would neither 
retract, nor modify, nor explain, but stood 
like a Titan at bay. 

The sacred vessel which had just gone to 
the annual festival at Delos, until the return 
of which it Was unlawful to put any one to 
death, did not again reach the city for thirty 
days. During the interval Socrates remained 
in prison. Nor was his manner of life much 
changed from what it was before hb condem- 
nation. He continued to converse with his 
friends. He refused to escape when the 
means were afforded of his doing so. He 
spoke cheerfully of his death and of his hope 
of immortality. It was the custom of the 
Greeks when one recovered from sickness to 
sacrifice a cock to -Esculapius. When the 
last hour came and the cup of hemlock was 
calmly drained, the philosopher said to his 
friend Crito who stood with other comrades 
beside him: "Crito, we owe a cock to JEscu* 
lapius; discharge the debt, and by no means 
omit it." Thus waa eclipsed the sublimest 
genius of antiquity. 


Bat his work survived. The teachings 
of Socrates can never fail to interest and in- 
struct the seeker after truth. Every enlight- 
ened age Thill drink from the exhaustless 
fountain o£ his wisdom. The enunciation of 
his doctrines marked an epoch, not only in 
the ethics of Greece, but in the morality of 
the human race. His contribution to the 
wisdom of mankind was greater than that 
which any other philosopher has brought 

to morals. His theme was human conduct. 
He sought to impress upon his hearers a con- 
viction of the barrenness of those speculative 
systems in which the Greek so much de- 
lighted. He would reduce the current beliefs 
to an absurdity. His weapon was dialogue; 
his method, interrogation. His antagonist- 
real or imagiuary - was a Sophist whose prop- 
ositions were admitted only to be quickly 
ground into dust under a redvetio ad abmrdum. 

lAST HOURS OF SOCRATES-Arter the paintlDg by Dovid. 

into the store-house of ages. The breadth 
and profundity of his understanding, his 
sturdy defense of the truth, his generous 
nature, his masterful grasp of the greatest 
themes, his honest assaults on error, and the 
pungent speech and dratnatic method in 
which his immortal aphorisms are set before 
us,— all conspire to stamp him as the loftiest 
genius of the ancient world. 

Socrates turned the mind of man from idle 
speculation to practical ethics — from vagaries 

Woe to the fallacy-monger who fell into the 
power of this inexorable and humane giant! 
The world beholds him yet, and will ever be- 
hold him as he sits among his companions 
and delivers to them his immortal sayings. 
His magnificent, ugly face; his tremendous 
head; his beetling brows, and eyes that darted 
their Promethean fire into the soul of mys- 
tery and scorched the wings of falsehood - it 
is Socrates, whom Plato and Xenophon have 
pictured, whom hemlock could not kill. 



CHAFTTER XLVII —Spartan and Theban 


IHAT has been called the 
Spabtak Supremacy in 
Grecian history may be 
dated from the battle of 
^gospotami, in B. G. 
405. That conflict de- 
cided the fate of Athens, 
and there was none other of the Hellenic 
states at all able to compete either on land or 
pea with the Lacedsemonians. The latter, 
therefore, as if by right, assumed the mastery 
of Greece, and for a while her dominion was 
as unlimited as it was arbitrary. 

Among her first acts was the punishment of 
certain states that had in some way injured 
her interests or insulted her pride. The 
Eleans had on a certain occasion excluded 
the Spartans from participation in the Olym- 
pic games, and more recently had refused 
permission to King Agis to offer sacrifices in 
the temple of Zeus. The inclination of Elis 
U> the democratic rather than the oligarchic 
form of government was especially distasteful 
to tlie Lacedsemonians, who now determined 
to regulate the afiairs of their western neigh- 
bors and punish them for previous misconduct. 
In B. C. 402 Agis b^an a campaign against 
Elis, but was stopped by his superstition. An 
earthquake aroused his fears, and the expedi- 
tion was postponed until the following year. 
With the ensuing summer, however, the 
campaign was again undertaken. The allies, 
even including a body of Athenians, joined 
the expedition, and the Eleans were soon re- 
duced to submission. The pious Agis per- 
formed his sacrifices and dictated the terms 
of peace. 

In the mean time, Lysander, now a private 
but ostentatious citizen of Sparta, became a 
source of trouble in that state. His ambition 
had grown with what it fed on, and he con- 
templated no less than a revolution of the 
government, by which he hoped to have Agis 
set aside and himself made king. To this 

end he consulted the oracles of Zeus at 
Dodona and at Ammon, in distant Libya, as 
well as that of Apollo at Delphi ; but though 
he used the persuasive power of money, the 
answers were advei^ to his schemes. He suc- 
ceeded, however, in getting Leotychides, the 
eldest son of Agis, set aside, on the ground 
that he was an illegitimate son of Alcibiades. 
But Agesilaus, a younger son, born of another 
mother, obtained the throne, and soon became 
a popular and efficient ruler. A conspiracy 
was organized against him on the ground of 
his lameness, an old oracle having warned the 
Spartans to beware '' of a lame reign. ** But 
Lysander, hoping to use the new king for his 
own purposes, explained that a lame reign and 
a lame fcL, were two very differentTngs ; 
80 the insurrection was suppressed, and the 
leaders put to death. 

Nearly all the states of Greece were now 
subject to Sparta. The system of govern? 
ment, established through the agency of 
Lysander in the dependencies, was that of the 
Decarehy, or Council of Ten, under the leader- 
ship of a Spartan Hairmoet, or governor. It 
was essentially a tyranny, and the Laceds&- 
monian supremacy, which was based thereon, 
contained no element of strength or perpetuity. 
There was, moreover, in the present state of 
afiairs a certain inconsistency which weak- 
ened the Spartan authority. The state had 
fought through the whole of the Peloponne- 
sian wars for the ostensible purpose of liberat- 
ing Greece from the dominion of Athens. 
What good to substitute the dominion of 
Sparta ? On the whole, the Greek mind sym- 
pathized with the Ionian race and the demo* 
cratic tendencies of the Athenians rather than 
with the austere Dorians and their oligarchy. 

Meanwhile, a stirring drama had been 
enacted in Asia Minor. The conspiracy of 
Cyrus the Younger against his brother Arta- 
xerxes had gathered head and broken into 
nothing at the battle of Cunaxa. The part 



which the Spartans bore in the great cam- 
paign, their heroism in the battle, their escape 
from the clutches of the Persians, their cele- 
brated retreat and return into Europe, have 
already been recounted in the History of 

As soon afl the great expedition had col- 
lapsed, the satrapy held by Cyrus was cour 
ferred on Tissaphemes. The latter began his 
adminbtration by attacking the Ionian cities, 
and the Spartans were obliged to jend out an 
army under Dercyllidas for their protection. 
After holding his own for a year and gaining 
Bome advantages over the Persians, he was con- 
fronted by Pharnabazus, who secured the ser- 
vices of Conon the Athenian as commander 
of a fleet to operate against the Lacedsd- 

King Agesilaiis himself went to Asia, in 
B.-C 396, and took command of the Pelo- 
ponnesian army. After wintering at Ephesus 
he advanced upon Sardis and won a victory 
over Tissaphemes on the banks of the Pacto- 
lu8. The latter was soon afterwards put to 
death at the instance of Parysatis, who still 
proved herself to be the mother of mischief 
as well as of Artaxerxes. The satrapy of 
Lydia was transferred to Tithraustes, and he 
soon induced Agcilaiis to withdraw into the 
country of hb fr ;nd Pharnabazus, satrap of 
Phrygia. The .atter had always had the con- 
fidence of the Spartans, and he now pro- 
tested with the king in such manly terms that 
the latter was induced to withdraw to Theb4, 
on the gulf of Elaeus; and from that place 
he was erelong obliged to repair to Sparta 
to protect his own country from impending 

For, in the mean time, the energies of 
Conon, backed by Persian gold, had brought 
bto existence and equipped a fleet superior 
to that of the ijacedseraonians. The appear- 
ance of this armament in the western waters 
had the street to incite in the island of Rhodes 
a democratic insurrection by which the oligar- 
chy had been suppressed. Afterwards, in 
August of B. C. 394, the allied squadron of 
Sparta and Phoenicia was overtaken at the 
peninsula of Cnidus, in Caria, and defeated 

^ V 

« See Book Sixth, pp. 367-369. 

with a loss of more than half of the armac 
ment. The efiect of these successes of the 
enemies of Sparta was such as further to 
weaken her hold upon her dependent states 
and to hasten the day of the overthrow of 
her power. 

About this time Timocrates, a prominent 
Bhodian, was dispatched to the leading Ghreek 
cities, well supplied with Persian gold, to in- 
duce a revolt against the LacedsBmonians. 
Thebes, Corinth, and Argos were all induced 
by his arguments to renounce the Spartan 
alliance, and hostUities were almost immedi* 
ately begun. A quarrel occurred between the 
Locrians and Phocians respecting the owner 
ship of a narrow strip of territory, and the 
former appealed to Thebes for aid. The Pho- 
cians on their part called on the Spartans for 
help, and the latter at once responded in full 
force under Lysander himself. After devas- 
tating the Phocian territory he proceeded to 
attack the town of Haliartus, where the insur* 
gents were posted ; but the latter made a des- 
perate sally, defeated the Lacedaemonians and 
killed Lysander. In the following night, sc 
complete was the Theban victory,, the invad- 
ers disbanded, and left the country. A few 
days afterwards, when Pausanias, who ex- 
pected to join Lysander at Haliartus, arrived, 
he found only the unburied Spartan dead of 
the recent battle. He was forced by the 
actual peril of the situation to accept the 
terms prescribed by the Thebans and with 
draw to his own home. The victorious in8U^ 
gents followed in his rear and virtually drove 
him beyond the border. Afraid to return to 
Sparta, the king found a hiding-place in the 
temple of Athene, at Tegea, and being con- 
demned to death was obliged to save himself 
by remaining at the altar of the protecting 

The eflect of this decisive reversal of for- 
tune was to strengthen and encourage the 
enemies of Spartan rule. Athens, Thebes, 
Corinth, and Argos now entered into a fo^ 
mal league against the Lacedaemonians. The 
Eubceans, the Ozolian Locrians, the Acama- 
nians, the Ambraciaus, the Leucadians, and 
the Thracian Chalcidicians were presently 
added to the. alliance, which now made no 



concealment of its purpose of open war. In 
the beginning of B. C. 394, the allies \gath- 
ered at the isthmus of Corinth and bade de- 
fiance to the Peloponnesians. It was at this 
juncture that the Spartan Ephors, becoming 
with good reason more anxious for the safety 
of the country than for foreign conquest, re- 
called Agesilaiis from Asia Minor to defend 
his own dominions. 

The Spartans rallied for the conflict with 
unusual energy. They advanced by way of 
Mantinea to Sicyon, where they were con- 
fronted by the allies, twenty-four thousand 
strong. The latter, however, fell back to the 
more defensible country in the immediate vi- 
cinity of Corinth. Here was fought a severe 
battle, in which the Spartans won an indeci- 
sive victory. 

In the mean time Agesilaiis had left Asia 
Minor, and was approaching by the old Thra- 
cian route marked out by Xerxes. He was 
joined en route by the Ten Thousand Greeks, 
who were now making their way homewards 
from the Euxine. After reaching Phocis, 
Agesilaiis heard of the defeat and death of 
Pisander at the battle of Cnidus, but he con- 
cealed the news from the army. On the plain 
of CoRONEA he was confronted by the allied 
army. The Thebans, who led the advance, 
made a headlong charge and broke the oppos- 
ing lines, but in other parts of the field the 
Spartans were victorious. The Thebans turned 
about and fought their, way back to their 
friends in one of the most desperate hand-to- 
hand conflicts recorded in Grecian history. 
Though the field remained to Agesilaiis, his 
success was so little decisive that the only 
mark of defeat on the side of the allies was 
their petition for the privilege to bury the 
dead. After the battle the Spartan king at 
once made hb way into Peloponnesus, where 
he was received with great joy by the alarmed 
Lacedaemonians and their allies. In the three 
battles which had been recently fought, two 
on land and one at sea — Corinth, Coronea, 
Cnidus — the naval engagement had been espe- 
cially disastrous to the Spartans, while the 
land conflicts had given them no decided ad- 
vantage. On the sea, Conon and Phama- 
bazus, acting in 'concert, were sweeping every 

thing before them, and the Spartan dominion 
in the JBgean faded away more rapidly than 
it had been acquired by the battle of ^gos- 

In the year B. C. 393, the allied fleet, hav 
ing completed its work among the islands, 
bore down upon Greece. Presently the strange 
spectacle was witnessed of a friendly Persian 
armament lying in the harbor of Piraeus! 
Pharnabazus, in his intense dislike of the 
Spartans, assented heartily to the plans of his 
colleague, Conon, who took advantage of the 
situation to secure the resurrection of Athens. 
The gold of Persia was freely used in the 
work of restoring the walls and fortifications 
of the city. Nor was the hearty aid given to 
this enterprise by the Thebans — at whose in- 
stance Athens had been dismantled and de- 
stroyed — a less conspicuous example of the 
mutability of parties among the Greeks. By 
the assistance thus lent by her former enemies 
most bitter and unrelenting, the capital city 
of Attica again assumed her place, and though 
shorn of her renown and glory, was soon a 
scene of busy life and ambitious projects. 

The whole brunt of the war now fell on 
Corinth. The allies, attempting to penetrate 
Peloponnesus by way of the isthmus, were 
resisted by the Spartans, who from their head- 
quarters at Sicyon ravaged the country along 
the gulf at. will. They finally broke' down a 
considerable portion of the long walls by 
which the city of Corinth was connected with 
her seaport of Lechseum, and also gained a 
victory over those who tried to prevent the 
demolition. An army of carpenters and 
masons was soon sent out from Athens, and 
the walls were quickly rebuilt ; but Agesilaiis, 
by the aid of hb brother Teleutias, who com- 
manded the fleet, gained possession of Le* 
chaeum, and rendered the barricades of no 
ftirther use to the city. Corinth herself wa« 
driven to the verge of capitulation, and a 
company of Thebans, who came as an em- 
bassy to sue for peace, were treated with insult 
and c^ontempt by the king, who was now coft* 
fident of his ability to inflict a complete dia 
comfiture upon his enemies. 

Just at this juncture an unexpected turn 
occurred in the relations of the parties. 



Hitherto the important wing of a Greek army 
had always consisted of the Aop^ites, or heavy- 
armed soldiers. The peUastor^ or troops of 
Hght armor, haa ever been regarded as of but 
secondary importance in battles. It was consid- 
ered the business of the peltasts to skirmish — 
to annoy and distract the enemy rather than 
actually to beat him from the field or into 
the dust That work was reserved for the 
hoplites, who came to the death grapple and 
were the actual combatants — ^the determining 
force of a Greek army. . 

Some of the allied forces m Coiinth were 
at the time referred to under command of 
the Athenian Ifhicrates. For two years he 
had been engaged in the training of a body 
of peltasts with a view to making them more 
formidable in battle. For the coat-of-mail 
worn by the hoplites he substituted a linen 
corselet, which did not impede the freedom of 
the body. He lessened 'the weight and diam- 
eter of the shield. The length of the javelin 
and short sword hitherto carried by the pel- 
tajst was increased one half. The new tactics 
laid stress upon rapidity of evolution in the 
field rather than upon the mere momentum 
of the column. 

Having got his corps well disciplined, 
Iphicrates succeeded in several unimportant 
engagements in inflicting considerable injury 
upon the enemy. An opportunity now offered 
to test the value of the new service on a more 
extensive scale. A body of hoplites from 
Amycla, desiring to participate in a festival 
at home, were escorted by a division of Spar- 
tans, also hoplites; and when the latter were 
returning, Iphicrates, with what appeared to 
all a piece of reckless audacity, drew out his 
corps of peltasts, and gave them battle. 

The conflict grew sharp and then furious. 
The heavy-armed Spartans began to fall on 
every side under the assaults of their more 
active and less encumbered assailants. They 
were bewildered at the novel and dangerous 
onsets of the new soldiery. After a large 
part of their number had been cut down 
without ability on their part to inflict much 
injury in return, they broke and fled. They 
were pursued, decimated, driven into the sea. 
The effect was such that Agesilaus withdrew 

from before Corinth and returned in a very 
humble plight to Sparta. Iphicrates there- 
upon sallied forth and retook nearly all the 
towns in the eastern and northern districts of 

The Spartans, now thoroughly alarmed by 
the successes of the allies, and especially by 
the exposure of their coast to the ravages of 
Conon's fleet, liable at any moment to drop 
upon them, concluded that it was time for 
peace. They accordingly opened negotiations 
by sending Antalcidas, their best diplomatist, 
to the court of Tiribazus, who had succeeded 
Tithraustes as satrap of Ionia. For the time, 
however, the ambassador was unsuccessful. 
The representatives of the allies were able to 
thwart his efforts, although Tiribazus was in 
hearty sympathy with the Spartan cause. It 
was at this juncture that, by the connivance 
of the satrap and the Persian court, Conon 
was seized — a perfidious act — and imprisoned. 
Though he soon afterwards made his escape 
and returned to his old refuge at the court of 
Evagoras in Cyprus, he never again took part 
in the public affitirs of his country. 

By this time Athens had sufficiently re- 
vived to send out a fleet of forty triremes U 
recover her possessions on the Hellespont 
The command of the expedition was given to 
Thrasybulus, who had complete success in 
his mission. The Athenian authority was 
reestablished, and the toll of ten per cent 
re'imposed on all vessels sailing out of the 
Euxine. After this work was accomplished, 
Thrasybulus sailed to Lesbos and deposed 
the Spartan governor of the island. Landing 
on the coast of Pamphylia, he began to lay 
contributions on the inhabitants; but the lat- 
ter gathered a force, attacked his camp by 
night, and killed him. Like many another 
illustrious Greek who had served his country 
in the day of her need, he was doomed to 
perish in an ignominious way on the shore of 
a foreign land. 

The attention of the Athenians was next 
called to the condition of affairs in the island 
of -^gina. It will be remembered that Ly- 
sander had restored the exiled ^ginetans and 
reestablished the oligarchy. Without suf- 
ficient resources to create a regular navy, the 



people of the island began to fit out privateers 
to prey upon Athenian commerce. The Lace- 
dsemonian commander, Teleutias, went to 
JEginsL with a small squadron, and turned the 
attention of the buccaneers to an enterprise 
hardly less dangerous but somewhat more 
honorable. This was an attempt to capture 
Piraeus. With a fleet of only twelve ships he 
toiled audaciously into the bay, landed his 
men on the quajrs, seized all the portable 
merchandise which was exposed about the 
warehouses, robbed most of the ships in the 
harbor, and sailed back to iBgina. 

In the mean time Antalcidas, accompanied 
by the Ionian satrap Tiribazus, had made his 
way to the Persian court at Susa. The Great 
King was now more inclined than hitherto to 
&vor the establishment of a general peace. 
After much negotiation ihe conditions were 
finally determined ; and in B. C. 387 the am- 
bassadors returned to Asia Minor to promul- 
gate the terms of the treaty. The forces 
with which Antalcidas was now backed were 
so overwhelming, both by land and sea, as to 
render resistance well-nigh hopeless. Ambas- 
sadors from the Grecian states were invited to 
meet Tiribazus, and before them, under the 
royal seal of Persia, the treaty was delivered. 
It was couched in the following terms: ** King 
Artaxerxes thinks it just that the cities in 
Asia and the islands of Clazomense and Cyprus 
should belong to him. He also thinks it just 
to leave all the other Grecian cities, both 
small and great, independent — except Lemnos, 
Imbros, and Scyros, which are to belong to 
Athens, as of old. Should any parties refuse 
to accept this peace, I will make war upon 
them, along with those who are of the same 
inind, both by land and sea, with ships and 
with money.** 

Such was the celebrated Peace of Antal- 
(ODAS, dictated, as it was, by an Asiatic mon- 
arch, the threats of whose ancestors had been 
laughed to scorn by the Greeks in the heroic 
days of old. Now, however, the conditions 
were tamely accepted by a degenerate race, 
whose resources had been consumed in inter- 
necine strife and whose patriotism had per- 
ished in the miserable heats of faction. The 
«nly incident in the acceptance of the treaty 

by the Greek states was that Thebes, instead 
of taking the oath in her own name only, 
persisted in swearing for the whole Boeotian 
confederacy, of which she claimed to be 
the head. 

It was thb assumption of something more 
than local independence on the part of the 
Thebans that gave to the Spartans their first 
excuse for interfering with the terms of the 
treaty. They accordingly insisted, at the ear- 
liest opportunity, that the other Boeotian 
cities, as well as Thebes herself, should be lo- 
cally independent. These cities, with the 
exception of Orchomenus and Thespise, all 
preferred to remain in their present relations 
as members of the confederacy; but Sparta, 
determining to have her will by force, pro- 
ceeded to establish garrisons in the two towns 
which favored her views, and at the same 
time undertook the resurrection of Plataea, in 
order to make the same a basis of her future 
operations in Central Greece. After the de- 
struction of this place, as previously narrated, 
the Platseans who escaped destruction became 
domiciled in Athens, and by intermarriages 
were now distinguished only by tradition from 
the other inhabitants; but when their city 
was rebuilt, most of these descendants of the 
exiled families were induced to return. 
Thebes, meanwhile, looked on and witnessed 
these insulting proceedings without the pres- 
ent power to interfere. 

As soon as this work was accomplished in 
the North, Sparta found time to settle an old 
grudge which she held against the town of 
Mantinea, in Arcadia. There was nothing 
more specific to be alleged against this place 
than that in the course of the Lacedaemonian 
wars the Mantineans had always been un- 
friendly, supplying encouragement to the 
enemies of Sparta and rejoicing in her mis- 
fortunes. Agesipolis was now dispatched to 
punish the spirit rather than iae overt acts 
of Mantinea. When the city refused to de? 
molish her walb, the Spartans dammed up 
the river Ophis until the back-water, rising 
against the bulwarks of sun-dried bricks, 
undermined them. The people were then 
obliged to surrender at discretion. All the 
fortifications were destroyed, and the city was 



reeolved into the five villages of which it was 
originally composed. Over each of these vil- 
lages a petty oligarchy was established, and 
then the Lacedsemonians retired to their own 

Meanwhile, the city of Olynthus, at the 
head of the Toronaic gulf, in the southern- 
most of the Chalcidician peninsulas, had be- 
come the center of a formidable confeder- 
acy. Nearly all the towns in that region, 
with the exception of Acanthus and ApoUo- 
nia, had entered a league for the maintenance 
of their independence. But the two just 
named, being under the influence of oligar- 
chies, and threatened with war by the confed- 
erate cities, appealed to Sparta for aid. Their 
ambassadors were supported by Amyntas of 
Macedon, and the Lacedsemonians were not 
hard to convince of the propriety of taking 
up arms against Olynthus. An army of ten 
thousand was at once put into the field, and 
two thousand of these were hurried to the 

This advance force gained some advan- 
tages over the le^ue, and Potidsea was 
won over to Sparta. When the remainder 
of the Lacedaemonian army, under the com- 
mand of Phoebidas, was sent forward, it passed 
through Bceotia, and by a singular act of 
treachery gained possession of Thebes. The 
Thebans had joined the Olynthian alliance, and 
thus aggravated the existing animosity of the 
Spartans, but the latter concealed their pur- 
poses, and acting in conjunction with Leonti- 
ades, one of the Theban polemarchs, laid a 
plan to overthrow the government. It hap- 
pened that at this time the festival of the 
Thesmophoria was celebrating in Thebes, and 
that in accordance with the custom the Cad- 
mea or citadel, was given up to the women. 
While the city was thus in a defenseless con- 
dition, Phoebidas, pretending to continue his 
march, suddenly turned about, seized the 
Cadmea, arrested and put to death Ismenias, 
the popular leader, and compelled three hun- 
dred of his followers to fly for their lives. 

The sequel of this audacious villainy was 
in keeping with the Spartan character. With 
profound duplicity the Ephors, who had atUhor- 
ized the act, now, in answer to the indignant 

voice of Greece, disavowed what Phoebidas 
had done and imposed on him a fine for his 
conduct. Then they restored him to his com- 
mand, and were meanwhile careful to keep 
possession of the Cadmea ! 

Thebes, thus overrun, was obliged to enter 
into a Spartan alliance, and to furnish troops 
to assbt in the prosecution of the Olynthian 
war. For four years (B. C. 383-379)- the 
conflict was continued. Agesipolis died and 
was succeeded by Polybiades. The Spartans 
gradually gained on the allies until the latter 
were broken up. Olynthus was besieged, and 
after a long investment, was taken and dia- ^ 
mantled. All the Macedonian toWns which 
had been in rebellion against Amyntas were 
restored to his authority. The influence of 
the democratic states in the North, so neces- 
sary as a counterpoise to the growing power 
of Macedon, was destroyed, and the flood- 
gates left open for the coming deluge. 

For three years the city of Thebes re- 
mained in the hands of the Spartan confeder- 
ates. The leaders of the democracy were liv- 
ing in exile in Athens. Chief among these 
was the wealthy young Pelopidas, who had 
already, by his virtues and abilities, acquired 
an ascendency over the minds of his country- 
men. The leader in Thebes was the great 
Epaminondas, between whom and Pelopidas 
the warmest ties grew up. On one occasion, 
when Pelopidas was scarcely of the military 
age, he had fought rashly in battle and was 
beaten down by the enemy ; but, in the crit- 
ical moment, Epaminondas threw his broad 
shield between the gallant youth and de- 

Ever afterwards Pelopidas looked to Epam- 
inondas as to a father. Between the two he- 
roes communication was now opened, and a 
conspiracy was formed for the liberation of 
Thebes from thralldom. A banquet was given 
to the polemarchs, Archias and Philippus, and 
when they were well drunken Pelopidas, and 
six others, who had come into the city in dis- 
guise, were introduced dressed as women. 
When the intoxicated officers undertook to 
lift their veils the conspirators drew their 
daggers and stabbed them. Leontiades, the 
military governor, was surrounded in hii 


houae and killed. Epammoodas issued a proc* 
lamation of freedom, and the Thebans from 
every aide rushed to arms. An assemhly was 
called and the conspiratore were publicly 
crowned with wreathB of flowers. The old 
office of Baolnarch was revived, and Pelopi- 
daa, Charon, and Mellon were chosen to ad- 
minister the afTaira of the state. The cltj 
was soon filled with returning exiles. Athe- 
nian volunteers poured into the country, and 

but the fact of the invadon remained, and 
the exasperation of Athens could not be ap- 

Having once more completely broken with 
the Lacediemonians, the Athenians set to work 
with great energy U> establish a new league 
which should be powerful enough to uphold 
the independence of the democratic states. 
The plan proposed was the constitution of the 
old confederacy of Delos. A congress was to 

Epaminondas soon found himself at the head 
of a courageous and powerful force. 

Sparta was thunderstruck with the intelli- 
gence Rallying from her consternation she 
dispatched an army under Cleoubrotus and 
Sphodrias to suppress the alarming insurrec- 
tion. The former soon retired from Bceotia 
without accomplishing any thing, and the 
latter was bribed by the Thebans to invade 
Attica — this for the purpose of compelling the 
Athenians to enter into an active alliance 
with themselves. The ruse was successful. 
The Spartans disavowed the act of Sphodrias, 

be created of delegates from the seven^ in- 
dependent cities composing the league, and 
this body was to have the power to advise 
and direct in all matters of common interest, 
under the leadership of Athens. It was at 
once voted to raise an army of twenty thou- 
sand hoplitea and live hundred cavalry, and 
to equip a fleet of two hundred galleys. A 
special tax was assessed in Athens to push 
forward the preparations, and in Thebes the 
army was rapidly brought into a state of per 
feet discipline. 

Now it was that the military genius of 



Epaminondas began to shine with inextin- 
guiflhable luster. He had every quality req- 
uisite in a popular hero. He was a man of 
the people. To the intellectual acquirements 
most prized in his own country — music, danc- 
ing, and gymnastic skill — he added the best 
accomplishments of Athenian learning. By 
the study of Pythagoras and Socrates he had 
familiarized himself with the best aspects of 
Greek thought To the gifts of persuasive 
eloquence he added personal virtue, and to 
courage of the most heroic pattern the high- 
est military genius ever produced in Greece. 

After the failure of Cleombrotus and 
Sphodrias, the now aged Agesilaiis himself 
took the field to restore the fortunes of Sparta. 
In B. C. 378 he invaded Bceotia with a large 
army. The country was ravaged to the gates 
of Thebes, but no decisive battle was fought, 
nor did the Spartans manifest any extreme 
anxiety to incur the hazard of a general en- 
gagement. In the next year the same scenes 
were witnessed and the same results reached, 
except that Agesilaiis was injured in his lame 
leg and for several seasons disabled from com- 
mand. The campaign of B. C. 376 was in- 
trusted to Cleombrotus, but the Thebans met 
him in the passes of the Cithseron and he 
was obliged to retire without crossing the 
Boeotian frontier. 

During this same year the Athenian fleets 
under Chabrias and* Phocion gained complete 
control of the seas. The Spartan squadron 
commanded by PoUio was defeated off Naxos, 
and on the western coast the islands of Ceph- 
ellenia and Corcyra were recovered for the 
league. So great was the success of the allied 
navy that by the close of the year there waa 
less cause to apprehend danger from the fleet 
of Sparta than from the privateers of ^gina. 
But for a growing jealousy between Thebes 
and Athens every thing would have foreto- 
kened the complete triumph of the allies. 

The years B. C. 375 and 374 were marked 
by still greater successes of the Theban arms. 
In the former summer Pelopidas gained a de- 
cisive victory over the Spartans at the town 
of Tegyra. The harmost of Orchoraenus had 
begun an invasion of Locris, and at the same 
time Pelopidas undertook the capture of Or- 

chomenus ; but both leaders were foiled in the 
objects of their campaigns. In returning, 
however, the Thebans fell in with the enemy 
near Tegyra, and although greatly inferior in 
numbers Pelopidas did not hesitate to join 
battle. Depending upon the splendid Theban 
phalanx known as the Sacred Band, he boldly 
made the onset, and when a messenger big 
with alarm ran to him and cried "out, **We 
are fallen into the midst of the enemy," he 
coolly replied, "Why then the enemy are 
fallen into the midst of us I" The result of 
the battle was ruinous to the Lacedsemonians. 
Both of their generals were killed, and the 
losses in the ranks were very severe. All of 
the region round about, with the exception of 
Orchomenus and Chaoronea, was detached 
from Spartan rule. 

By this stage of the war it had become 
with Thebes not so much a question of inde- 
pendence as how far she might extend her 
influence. Phocis was the first state against 
which she felt called to take up arms. The 
Phocians had refused to pay the tribute 
levied by the congress of the confederacy, 
and felt comparatively safe in doing so be- 
cause of the support of her ar.cient allies, the 
Athenians. The latter, offended at the atti* 
tude of Thebes, proposed peace to the Spar^ 
tans, and terms were at once agreed upon. 
But the treaty was broken almost as soon as 
made, and hostilities continued. 

After a few years of varying successes, the 
desire for a settlement became general through- 
out Greece. Antalcidas was again dispatched 
(B C. 372) to the court of Persia to represent 
that Thebes, by the restoration of the Bceotian 
confederacy, had violated the terms of the 
treaty dictated by the Great King, and to ask 
his intervention. This proceeding quickened 
the desire for peace on the part of the demo- 
cratic states; for they greatly preferred to 
settle the affairs of Greece without the aid or 
interference of Persia. In furtherance of 
such a desire a conference was held at Sparta 
in the spring of B. C. 371, and after con- 
siderable discussion the conditions of peace — 
known as the Peace of Callias from the 
name of the Athenian ambassador — were 
agreed to by the deputies. 



The terms of the compact were — the inde- 
pendence of the various Greek cities, the dis- 
banding of the hostile fleets, and the dismissal 
of all the Spartan ^garrisons from the towns 
now occupied by them. When it came to 
signing the treaty there was a strange inci- 
dent, which revealed more plainly than words 
the hollowness of the settlement, or perhaps 
it might be said of any settlement between 
the states represented in the congress. Sparta 
ratified the terms for herself and her aUies. 
Athens signed for herself only, and each of 
the confederate cities gave a separate ratifica- 
tion until it came to Thebes. Epaminondas in 
sisted that he would sign for himself and for 
the Bceotian confederacy. When this proceed- 
ing was resisted by Agesilaiis, the Theban 
boldly defended his right, maintaining that 
the same difiered in no respect from the right 
of Sparta to sign for the Lacedsemonian 
league. He declared that in either case the 
right depended on the sword, and that a Bceo- 
tian sword was as good as a Spartan. Agesi- 
laiis was greatly angered at this ** insolence," 
and the altercation became so violent that the 
king in a rage ordered the name of Thebes 
to be struck out of the treaty. So Epamin- 
ondas was left to himself and his sword. 

Of course there was but one thing to be 
expected — the immediate invasion of Boeotia 
by the Lacedaemonians. Nor was it regarded 
as within the range of things possible that 
Thebes, even with the support of her great 
general, could long withstand the assaults of 
her inveterate and powerful foe. Neverthe- 
less, when Cleombrotus, who now held com- 
mand of the Spartan army in Phocis, was 
ordered to march into Boeotia and put down 
all opposition, Epaminondas, nothing daunted, 
made preparations to give him battle. The 
combatants met on the plain of Leuctra. The 
Thebans were greatly discouraged at the ap- 
proach of the enemy. Bad omens were re- 
ported by the seers. Three of the seven 
BoBOtrarchs voted to return to the city and to 
send their wives and children to Athens. 

But Epaminondas could not be appalled. 
Just before the battle began an exile dis- 
covered that the field contained the tombs of 
two Theban virgins who had killed tJiemselves 

after having been violated by Spartan sol- 
diers. The general had their graves covered 
with garlands, and demanded that the out- 
raged honor of Theban womanhood should 
now be vindicated on the dastardly race that 
had committed the deed. The spirit of the 
soldiers was fired with the appeal, and the 
conflict began. 

The tactics adopted by Epaminondas were 
a novelty in Grecian warfare. Hitherto there 
had been but little variation from the estab- 
lished usage of the field. The Greek com- 
mander generally arranged his forces so as to 
** attack in line.** The theory of battle was 
that the whole line — center, left wing, right 
wing — must be maintained unbroken. It is 
to Epaminondas that the method of attacking 
in column, that is, of throwing upon some 
particular part of the enemy's lines a heavy 
mass of men moving in a column with a nar- 
row front, but of great depth, must be re- 
ferred. He adopted this policy for the first 
in the battle of Leuctra. Concentrating his 
best troops in the left wing, where they were 
massed to the depth of fifty files, he threw 
them with irresistible force against the Spar- 
tan right. The Theban center and right were 
not advanced at all, but held in reserve to 
act according to the emergency. With the 
onset the Lacedsemonian right wing was 
utterly routed. Cleombrotus was mortally 
wounded — the first Spartan ''king" who had 
fallen in battle since the day of Thermopylae. 
The rout was complete. The Spartans were 
granted the privilege of burying their dead, 
but these were first stripped of their armor, 
which was hung as a trophy in Thebes. 

The effect of this victory was tremendous 
in all Greece. It had been believed that in a 
general field battle the Spartan hoplites were 
invincible. Bere at Leuctra, though superior 
in numbers, advantageously posted, and ably 
commanded, they had been beaten down by 
the hitherto comparatively undistinguished 
soldiery of Thebes, and this, too, by a method 
of attack which was an innovation upon the 
established rules of battle. Sparta had never 
before sufiTered so great a disaster in the field.' 

'As illustrative of Spartan character and man- 
^erg. the reception of the news of the battie ot 



Whether viewed in itself as a ruinous defeat, 
or considered as a precedent of what might 
be expected hereafter, the shock might well 
be regarded as &tal to Spartan military 

At this epoch in Grecian history appeared 
on the stage Jason of Pherje, generalissimo 
of Thessaly. After the battle of Leuctra, the 
Thebans sent to him for assistance in the fur- 
ther prosecution of their war with Sparta. 
Already ambitious of extending hb own in- 
fiuence in Northern and Central Greece, he 
gladly joined his forces with those of Thebes 
to complete the expulsion of the Lacedaemo- 
nians from the country. This was accom- 
plished, however, rather by strategy than by 
force ; for Jason assumed the office of an ar- 
biter, and the three hundred surviving Spar- 
tans were permitted to escape from Bceotia 
and return home. 

It was evident from this transaction that 
Jason of Pherse, having had a taste of Greek 
politics, was enamored of the situation, and 
that he saw in the same an opportunity for the 
extension of his own influence and authority. 
After scanning the horizon, it appeared to 
him that Southern Greece offered the most 
fieivorable field for his operations. Accord- 
ingly he announced hb intention to partici- 
pate in the ensuing Pythian Festival of 
August, B. C. 370. He caused it to be pro- 
daimed that he would himself take charge of 
the celebration, and that hb sacrifice to 
Apollo should consbt of one thousand bulb 
and ten thousand sheep, goats, and swine. 
The Delphian priests and Amphictyons were 
thrown into consternation by these tidings, 
but the oracle gave assurance that Phoebus 
would guard hb shrine. A short time after- 
wards, and before the date of the festival, 
Jason was brought to a pause by assassina- 
tion. Seven young men rushed upon him 

Leuctra forms a striking incident. The festival 
of Gymnopaedia, which was celebrating at the 
time, went on without interruption. Women 
were forbidden to wail for their dead. The rela- 
tives of those who were slain went about the 
streets laughing; while those whose friends had 
survived from the battle wept from shame and 
mortification. As for the rest, Sparta merely pre- 
pared to rescue her army. 

and gave him hb quietus while he sat in pul^ 
lie hearing causes. 

' In the mean time the ManHnftftfui^ whose 
city, as heretofore related, had been disman- 
tled by the Spartans, had availed themselves 
of the decline of Lacedaemonian influence to 
rebuild their ramparts. In thb work they 
were supported by other Arcadian towns and 
also by Thebes; for the latter saw in these 
movements a sign of the cloud that was to 
break over Sparta. Agesilaib marched into 
Arcadia, but was unable to prevent the Man- 
tineans from restoring their city. He, how- 
ever, did much damage by ravaging the 
country round about, and then withdrew. 

Epaminondas was already on the march to 
the south, where he was joined by the Argives 
and the Eleans, by whom hb already large 
army was increased to seventy thousand men. 
Hb plan now contemplated the restoration to 
independence of A^essenia, whose people for 
generations had been scattered into all parts 
of Greece. So great was the enthusiasm 
created by the presence of Epaminondas in 
Peloponnesus that the enemies of Sparta, 
availing themselves of the manifest paralysb 
of that power, exhorted him to make an in- 
vasion of Laconia. To thb he assented, and 
hb army was immediately advanced across 
the border and was soon at Amycbe, on the 
the Eurotas, only a few miles from the 

The alarm at that city knew no bounds. 
The women of Sparta, who had never seen the 
face of an enemy, went about wailing. 
Nothing but the energy and courage of Ages- 
ilaib saved the city from capture and de- 
struction; but through hb exertions, assisted 
by the Ephors, the walless capital of Laconia 
was soon brought into a state of defense. 
And though the king did not dare to go 
forth and give his antagonbt battle, he yet 
succeeded in protecting the city. Epaminon- 
das, however, wasted the country at will, and 
withdrew unmolested to the west Here, in 
Arcadia and Messenia, he prosecuted success- 
fully hb purpose of establishing an 'Arcadian 
confederation and restoring the state of Mes- 
senia to independence. To secure the latter 
object, the ancient cliffs of Ithome were se- 



lected, and a now capital, called Messeu^, was 
established oq the summit. 

Such waa the present abasement of Sparta 
that she now sent humbly to Athens to solicit 
an alliance against the Thebaua. The Athe- 
nians readily assented, but Sparta, in order U> 

bans Boon broke through the passes, and in 
B. G. 369 made the usual invasion of South- 
em Greece. Still the campaign waa not at- 
tended with much success, and in the mean 
time the Lacedeemonian cause was consider 
ably revived by the arrival of a squadron 


ncure the le^ue, was obliged to renounce 
her claims of leadership. It was agreed that 
the command both by land and aea should 
alternate in periods of five days between the 
generals of the two states. The firat move- 
ment of the new allies was to occupy the 
isthmus of Corinth. Thus should Epaminon- 
das be cut off from communication with bis 
confederates in Peloponuesus. But the The- 

from Syracuse, the same being sent out by the 
Sicilian tyrant, Dionysius.' With the approach 

* It was at the court of the Tyrant Dionysins 
that tlie celebrated incident occurred in which 
the cottrtier Damocles fibred as the principal 
actor. As narrated by Cicero, tliis disiinguished 
sycophant had, after the manner ol hie kind. 
lauded Dionysius, and ascribed to him sUfh hap- 
piness as belongs only lo Ihe immortals. In order 
to rebnke this unseemly flattery, the Tyrant in- 



of winter EpaminoDclas retired to Thebes and 
the allies to their respective states. 

The year B. C. 368 was mostly occupied 
by an expedition «of Pelopidas into Thessaly. 
Aiter the death of Jason, Alexander, a Thes- 
salian prince, had succeeded, by murdering 
his two brothers, in becoming generalissimo 
of the country. Against him — for he enter- 
tained the same ambitious projects of his 
predecessor — the Theban campaign was di- 
rected. Pelopidas was entirely successful. 
Alexander was obliged to solicit a settlement, 
and the cities of Thessaly were mostly in- 
duced to enter into a league against the ex- 
tension of his power. As soon as the state 
was reduced to quiet Pelopidas marched into 
Macedonia, whose regent Ptolemy was induced 
to make an alliance with the Thebans; and 
to bind the compact the young Macedonian 
prince, Pmup, son of Amjmtas, was given as 
a hostage and taken to Thebes, where he spent 
several years, keenly alive to the influences 
of Greek politics and the culture of the 
South. Thus was brought about the first con- 
tact between the Greek states and the great 
power of the North by whose sword their lib- 
erties were so soon to be extinguished. 

Meanwhile, the league of the Arcadian 
cities had grown strong as well as over-con- 
fident under the leadership of Lycomedes. 
Like all the other Greeks the Arcadians, as 
soon as freedom dawned, rushed forward to 
gain first independence and then ascendency. 
This haste to be great roused the jealousy of 
Thebes, and she now looked coldly on the 
Arcadian confederation or even sympathized 
with its enemies. After the arrival of the 
Syracusan reinforcements the Spartans, feel- 
ing strong enough to assume the offensive, in- 
vaded Arcadia, and succeeded in bringing on 
an action in which the forces of the towns of 
the league were completely routed. Not a 
tingle Spartan fell in the conflict, and the 
fight was for this reason given the name of 
the Tearless Battle. 

vited Damocles to a banquet When the courtier 
arrived and was seated, he glanced upward and 
beheld above his head a sword suspended by a 
tingle hair! Thus would his master teach him 
^he peril and precarious tenure of greatness. 

The important event of the years B. C. 
367-366 was the embassy sent by Thebes U 
Persia. Ever since the Peace of Antalcidaa 
the Great King had claimed and exercised 
the rights of an arbiter in the internal aflairs 
of Greece. The Thebans, now claiming the 
position of leadership, felt that it was neces- 
sary for their assumption to be recognized by 
the Persian court. Pelopidas and Ismenias 
were accordingly sent to Susa to secure the 
sanction of the royal power to the claim of 
Thebes, and also to obtain the decision of 
the king respecting several disputes now 
pending between the Greek states. The 
Athenians, in order if possible, to counteract 
the arguments of the Theban ambassadors, 
sent Timagoras and Leon to represent Athena 
and the Peloponnesian league. But the king, 
who had now learnt that the easiest way to 
maintain his ascendency in Greece was to 
support the strongest state, readily inclined 
to the side of Thebes. Her leadership was 
formally recognized, and the pending difficul- 
ties in Peloponnesus were all decided accord- 
ing to her wish. 

The settlement, however, was unfavorably 
received in Greece. In vain did Thebes in- 
sist that the rescript of the Great King should 
be accepted by the assembly convened to hear 
the conditions of the adjustment. The Arca- 
dians withdrew from the counciL Other 
states refused to ratify the terms. Pelopidas 
and Ismenias went in person to Thessaly to 
secure a ratification. Alexander had them 
seized and imprisoned at PhersB. When the 
Thebans undertook to recover their general 
and .sent an army of more than eight thou- 
sand men into Thessaly they were defeated 
and driven from the country. For in a fit 
of f6lly they had refused that year to reject 
Epaminondas Boeotrarch, and the commanders 
who went against Alexander were incompe* 
tent as leaders. 

The great general, however, was serv- 
ing in the ranks, and when the army, pur- 
sued by Alexander, was about to be ruined, 
the soldiers called on Epaminondas to save 
them. He accordingly took command and 
the Theban forces were delivered from their 
peril. A rea)ction in his favor was the imme- 



diate result. He was restored to his office 
and intrusted with a new expedition to se- 
cure the release of Pelopidas. He at once 
proceeded into Thessaly and induced Alexan- 
der rather by diplomacy than by force to set 
Pelopidas at liberty. Epaminondas then re- 
frained frt)m any severe retaliation against 
the generalissimo on the ground of ex- 

The next incident of the struggle to main- 
tain the Theban ascendency was the capture 
of Oropus. This town, situated near the bor- 
der line between Athens and Thebes, had for 
a long time been in possession of the former 
city ; but the people of Oropus, composed for 
the most part of Theban exiles, sympathized 
with the mother state, and watching their op- 
portunity seized the city and delivered it' over 
to Thebes. About the same time the Arca- 
dians, under the lead of Lycomedes, having 
been alienated by the course of the Theban 
authorities, sought and obtained an alliance 
with Athens, though in the course of the 
negotiations Lycomedes was assassinated by 
some exiles acting in the Theban interest. 

By this league it became more than ever de- 
sirable for Athens to have possession of the 
isthmus of Corinth to the end that she might 
keep a free communication between herself 
and her Peloponnesian allies. She accord- 
ingly with singular moral obliquity formed 
the design of seizing Corinth, though between 
herself and that city there was not the slight- 
est cause of quarrel. The Corinthians, how- 
ever, gathered an intimation of the scheme, 
and were able by judicious measures to thwart 
the purpose of her friend. They then turned 
to Thebes with a proposition for a general 
peace. To thb the Thebans assented, and a 
conference was accordingly convened at Sparta, 
but only the minor states could agree on the 
terms of settlement. Thebes, Athens, Sparta, 
and Arcadia could not be reconciled, and the 
struggle continued as before. 

During the years B. C. 365-364 the Athe- 
nians regained in some measure their ascen- 
dency at sea. A fleet under command of 
Timotheus conquered Samos and restored the 
authority of his country in most of the Cyc- 

iades. The eflTect of this revival of maritime 

N.— Vol. 1—37 

power was to arouse and exasperate the The- 
bans, who had never hitherto wielded any 
influence in the jEgean. Epaminondas en« 
couraged his countrymen to build a fleet of 
one hundred triremes and was himself put in 
command of the squadron. Sailing to tha 
Hellespont in B. C. 363 he made as though 
he would begin a conquest of the countries 
adjacent thereto, but nothing came of the ex- 
pedition. The sea-service was a novelty both 
to himself and his men. 

While this maritime ambition had pos- 
session of the mind of Epaminondas, Pelopi- 
das organized a laud force and again invaded 
Thessaly. The recollection of his imprison- 
ment rankled within him, and he determined 
that Alexander should feel the force of his 
vengeance. The latter raised a large army 
and advanced to meet the Thebans. The two 
enemies confronted each other in the field of 
Cynoscephal^, where the Thessalians, though 
greatly superior in numbers, were completely 
routed. Pelopidas, however, like Cyrus the 
Younger at Cunaxa, inspired by a sudden 
rage on beholding Alexander in the enemy'i 
confused ranks, made a rash and furious 
charge with the hope of reaching him. But 
Alexander was surrounded by his friends, and 
Pelopidas, cutting at them with blind fury, 
was himself struck down and killed. His loss 
was so great as to counterbalance the victory. 
Shortly afterwards, however, a second Theban 
campaign against Thessaly was completely 
successful. Alexander was stripped of all his 
dependencies and confined to the limits of his 
own city of Pherie. 

In the mean time a war had broken out 
between Elis and Arcadia. The latter state 
in B. C. 364 had transferred the presidency 
of the Olympic games from the Eleans to the 
Pisatans, and the former endeavored to main- 
tain their rights by force. During the prog- 
ress of the festival they came armed into the 
sacred precincts, and were resisted by the Ar» 
cadians. The temple of Zeus was seized and 
used as a fortress, and the celebration was 
broken up in a shameful conflict. The Eleans 
were finally compelled to retire, but they 
sought revenge by striking the one hundred 
and fourth Olympiad from the list of the 



festiyals and counting it ever afterwards a 
din wm. 

After the war had continued for two years 
Epaminondas again undertook the pacification 
of Peloponnesus and marched a large army 
across the isthmus. He was joined by reen- 
forcements from those states and towns favor- 
able to the Theban cause, while those who 
were opposed rallied in great force at Man- 
tinea. The aged Agesilaiis, of Sparta, set out 
for this place at the head of the Lacedsemo- 
nian forces, and Epaminondas seeing the La- 
conian capital thus exposed, once more formed 
the design of capturing it. By a swift move- 
ment he reached the city before Agesilaiis 
could reenter; but the houses were so well 
defended and the old king so alert that the 
Theban was obliged to retire. Sparta again 
escaped destruction by the skin of her teeth. 

Epaminondas, however, at once made his 
way to Mantinea, and here was fought the 
decisive battle of the war. The conflict oc- 
curred in the plain between the city and Te- 
gea. On coming upon the field Epaminondas 
ordered his soldiers to ground arms. From 
this movement the Spartans and Mantinseans 
inferred that the battle would not occur 
until the following day. They accordingly 
took ofi* their breastplates and disposed them- 
selves at ease. But Epaminondas was busy 
with preparations, and had no thought of 
procrastination. He adopted the same plan 
of battle as at Leuctra. He massed his best 
troops into a column of great depth and 
hurled them upon the enemy, who, hurrying 
into rank, were unable to withstand the 
shock. The field was swept at a single charge, 
and the soldiers of Sparta were again seen in 
flight. But the victory was purchased by 
Thebes at too dear a price. Epaminondas, 
fighting in the foremost ranks, was struck in 
the breast with a spear and fell mortally 
wounded. He was carried from the field in 
a dying condition. Having satisfied himself 
Hud his shield tvaa safe, and that the victory 
was certainly won, he ordered the spear-head 
to be drawn from his breast, and di^d. 

The Theban ascendency perished with him. 
Both of those — lolai'das and Daiphantus — 
whom he had indicated as his successors per- 

ished in the battle, and his oyn dying advice 
to make peace was as necessary as it was judi- 
cious. His great rival, Agesilaiis, survived 
him but a short time, and then ended his 
career in a most dramatic manner. At the 
age of eighty years, the indomitable old man, 
hobbling about on his lame leg, oi^ganized a 
force of one thousand hoplites and went on 
an expedition into Egypt That country, 
under the leadership of Tachos, was now en- 
gaged in an insurrection against the Persians, 
and the Spartan king went to his aid. He 
cut so ridiculous a figure on his arrival that 
Egyptian ridicule could not be restrained. 

But the party of Nectanebis, who presently 
rose against Tachos, better appreciated the 
military genius of the short old octogenarian, 
who went stumping about the ranks with the 
imperturbable spirit for which his race had 
always been noted. Agesilaiis actually raised 
Nectanebis to power, and was by him re- 
warded with a present of two hundred and 
thirty talents. But on his way homeward 
the old man died. His body was embalmed 
in wax and carried to Sparta, where it was 
buried with great honor. The ancient proph- 
ecy which had confronted him at the be- 
ginning of his reign, and which Lysander 
had to explain away, had indeed been ful- 
filled. Sparta had good reason to. beware of 
the "lame reign," for her prominence in the 
afiairs of Greece ceased with the death of 

Mention has been recently made of a 
squadron sent to the aid of the Lacedaemo- 
nians by Dionysius, tyrant of Syracuse. The 
incident naturally suggests a few paragraphs 
on the progress of Grecian civilization in Sic- 
ily and Southern Italy. After the complete 
collapse of the Athenian expedition of B. C. 
413, at which time the government of Syra- 
cuse was in the hands of the oligarchic or 
Spartan party, a revolution occurred in fisivor 
of the demociiftcy. One Diocles, a learned 
and patriotic citizen, was appointed to draft 
a popular constitution. Hermocrates, the 
leader of the oligarchy, was banished; but 
a counter revolution was soon organized by 
which he was enabled to return and Diocles 
was himself sent into exile. While the oli- 



garohic chief waa endeavoriiig to regain pos- 
session of Syracuse he was slain; but his 
cause was immediately taken up by the young 
Dionysius, a man of great abilities and au- 
dacity, who soon obtained a vote of the assem- 
bly by which he was raised first to authority 
and then to despotism. He first made suc- 
cessful war upon several of the Sicilian cities, 
and then began a conflict with Carthage. But 
this undertflJting proved beyond his capacity 
to manage. The island was invaded by an im- 
mense force of Carthaginians, and Syracuse 
was only saved firom capture, and perhaps 
destruction, by the ravages of a pestilence 
which broke out in the camp of the besiegers. 
Imilcon, the Carthaginian general, then pur- 
chased from Dionysius the privilege of a safe 
retreat from the island. 

Under the direction of the t3rrant, Syracuse 
soon became the foremost city in the west. 
And, indeed, in all continental Greece, Sparta 
only could rival the power and grandeur of 
the Sicilian capital. Dionysius himself set 
the example in artistic and literary culture. 
He courted the Muses. He had his poems 
publicly recited, not only in hb own city, but 
also in Athens. He contended for prizes at 
the Lensean festival and at the Olympic 
games. Several second and third prizes were 
awarded to him, and finally the first prize in 
tragedy, given for his play entitled the Rarir 
wrii of Hector. For thirty-eight years he 
wielded the destinies of the city, and died 
without an overthrow. 

After him his son, known as Dionysius the 
Younger, became master of Syracuse, and for 
a while, under the influence of Plato, who 
was invited to his court, showed some signs 
of mitigating the rigorous rule established by 
his father ; but the influence of courtiers pre- 
vailed against these tendencies, and Plato him- 
self, falling into disrepute, was for a season in 
danger of his life. At length, however, the 
philosopher escaped and returned to Greece. 

Soon afterwards, in B. C. 357, Dion, the 
leader of the opposing party in politics, headed 
an insurrection against the tyrant, and the 
latter was overthrown, to the great joy of the 
people. Dion then became ruler of the city, 
and was expected to make an eflbrt at reform. 

He had been the friend of Plato, and had im- 
bibed that great thinker's profound but som^ 
what impracticable views of government, and 
the people looked for a millennium; but in 
this they were so grievously disappointed that 
Dion was soon assassinated by one Callippus, 
who held the city for about a year, when he 
was in turn driven out by a nephew of Dion. 
Several revolutions followed in quick succes- 
sion, until finally an appeal was sent to Sparta 
for the restoration of order. The Lacedae- 
monian authorities thereupon dispatched the 
celebrated Timoleon to quiet the disturbances 
in Sicily, and especially to restore the ascen- 
dency of Spartan influence in Syracuse.' 

The squadron given to Timoleon numbered 
only ten vessels, but with this small armament 
he made his way into Sicily. Having arrived 
at Adranum he encountered Hicetas, the then 
leader of the democratic party in the island, 
who came out with a large force to drive back 
the Spartans. Timoleon, however, gained a 
decisive victory, and then marched into Syrar 
cuse without further opposition. Dionysius 
(the third of that name), who now headed 
the oligarchy, surrendered to him, and he thus^ 
became master of the city. He at once pro- 
ceeded to the demolition of the fortifications 
of Orytigia and the destruction of the other 
relics of the reign of the Elder Dionysius, in- 
cluding his splendid mausoleum; and when 
this work was accomplished the new governor 
erected courts of justice on the sites of the 
overthrow. Those who had been banished 
were invited to return, and of these — together 
with companies of citizens who joined them — 
there came from Corinth ten thousand in a 
single colony. The constitution was revised, 
and most of the statutes of Diocles again made 
operative in the government of the city. 

*The story of Timoleon's previous life is a 
tragedy. Once in battle he saved the life of his 
elder brother Timopbenes, but afterwards, when 
the latter was overtaken in a piece of treachery 
to his country, he consented to his death. Then 
remorse seized him, and, loaded with the impre- 
cations of his mother, he slunk out of sight and* 
tried to starve himself to death. After a long 
seclusioii he was, by one of those strange caprices 
for which the Greek mind was so peculiarly noted* 
called to take charge of the expedition just organ- 
ized in aid of the Syracusans. 



After the defeat of Hicetu, that W^er 
still held out for a season, defending h'jiself 
in the town of Leontini. Here he ^ds prea- 
eaUy besieged by Timoleon and obliged to 
capitulate; but he sought revenge by inviting 
In the Carthaginiana, who immediately re- 
eponded by sending into the island an army 
of seventy thousand men. Agunst these 
'Hmoleon could muster but twelve thousand; 
but with this amall force he went boldly into 
battle at the river Crimeeus, and, astdsted by 
a terrible storm which hurst suddenly in the 
&«e of the enemy with hiul and lightning 
and wind, guned a complet« and decisive 
victory. Ten thousand of the Carthaginians 

•Pre destroyed in the battle and fifteen thou- 
laiid made prisoners. The eSect of the vic- 
tory was such that the enemy was glad to ac- 
cept the terms of peace which, in B. C 338, 
TimoleoD saw fit to offer. 

In the mean time, Hicetas was overthrown, 
taken prisoner, and condemned to death 
for his treachery. The vations despots who 
under the influence of the oligarchy had ob- 
tained possession of most of the Sicilian 
towns were now ejected, and the whole 
island speedily brought to a condition of 
quiet never before enjoyed. As soon as this 
happy condition of afiaire had been reached, 
'Hmoleon resigned his trust and retired to 
private life. For his services he would accept 
notbing but a modest house given him by the 
oitr. He soon afterwards brought his familv 

from Greece, and passed the rest of his lift 
in honorable seclusion. It was impossible, 
however, that bis influence should not be 
sought and felt in the public business of the 
city and island. He was frequently consulted 
as a kind of patriotic oracle in deciding the 
gravest qaesdons of state. After his blindness, 
which ensued not long after his retirement, 
he continued to be a mark of the distin- 
guished esteem and confidence of the Syracu- 
sans, who took delight in bringing him in a 
car into the public assembly or theater, and 
on such occasions be was always received 
with a hurst of popuUr enthusiasm. At his 
death, in B. C. 336, he was honored with » 
splendid Aueral at the public expense, and a 
concourse of weeping people gathered at his 
tomb to bear witness to bis heroic virtues and 
unselfish patriotism. 

Before the events which have just been 
jiarrated, the final act in Hellenic history had 
begun in Greece. It will have been noticed 
that, widi the decline of Sparta, the appre- 
hensions of the Athenians and Thebans were 
directed to the North rather than to Pelopon- 
nesus. TTie imbroglio with Alexander of 
Phene had indicated that even within the 
limits of Northern Greece the elements of 
danger to tbe independence of the smallei 
states lay hidden ready for development; but 
more particularly was there cause for alarm 
from the growing power of the great kingdom 
just beyond Olympus. 

The giving of the youth, Fhilip of Mace- 
don, as a hostage to the Thebans, and his 
reddence of several years among the Greeks, 
have already been mentioned. While in 
Thebes the young man made good use of his 
opportunities. He studied the Greek lan- 
guage and literature. He made the acquaint- 
ance of Plato. He studied military science 
under Epaminondas, and familiarized himself 
with the current condition of the affairs of 
Greece. His great natural abilities were thus 
stimulated in a school well calculated to bring 
out the best energies of bis genius. Before 
leaving Thebes— which he did in B. C. 359— 
to assume tbe duties of the Macedonian gov- 
ernment during the absence of his nrothei 
Perdiccas on the Illyrian campugn, fa» had 



tlready attracted the attention of the most 
eminent Greeks of his time. Nor were there 
wanting those who could discover in the 
young prince the forecastings of a remarkable 

When Perdiccas was slain by the Illyrians, 
the crown of Macedonia fell to his son, with 
Philip for regent. Two claimants to the 
throne now arose — Pausanias, who was sup- 
ported by the king of Thrace, and Argseus, 
with whom the Athenians were leagued on 
account of the favor which he had shown 
them in gaining possession of Amphipolis. 

But Philip, by his address, soon secured the 
withdrawal of support from both of the pre- 
rtenders, and thus brought their cause to 
naught. Having thus provided for peace at 
home, he at once entered upon his campaign 
against the Pseonians and Illyrians. Both of 
these peoples were quickly and easily sub- 
dued. .The tactics which Philip had learned 
from Epaminondas were put to use in the 
very first battle, and with terrible effect upon 
the Illyrians. who were put to utter rout by 
the ^eavy column which the Macedonian 
massed against a single point in their lines. 
The effect of the victory so strengthened 
Philip at home that by common consent he 
assumed the crown ; but the son of Perdiccas 
was treated with consideration by the new 
king, who gave him his daughter in marriage. 
The first contact of Philip with the Athe- 
nians was respecting the possession of Amphip- 
olis. It will be remembered that this city 
had been wrenched from Athens by Brasidas 
of Sparta, and had subsequently had a nom- 
inal independence. With the organization of 
the Olynthian league the members of that 
confederacy became extremely anxious that 
Amphipolis should become a member of the 
alliance. The position of the city at the 
mouth of the Strymon rendered it of vast im- 
portance to Philip, whose ambition reached 
towards the ocean as well as landward. With 
extraordinary skill, not unmixed with crafti- 
ness, he secured the Mendliness and support 
of Athens by promising to give her Amph^n- 
olis if she would yield Pydna to him; and 
at the same time he procured the withdrawal 
of the claim of Olynthus by agreeing to cede 

to that city the town of Anthemus. These 
measures having cleared the field of opposi- 
tion, he suddenly laid siege to Amphipolis and 
took it before assistance could be rendered by 
any. He also kept Pydna; and the Oiyn- 
thians and Athenians were left to nurse their 
complaints. The people of Olynthus were 
soon placated by the recovery of Potidna, 
which town Philip graciously turned over to 
them as a kind of compensation for the loss 
of Amphipolis. 

The year B. C. 356 was a fortunate epoch 
for the Macedonian king. In that year his 
general, Parmenio, gained a great victory 
over the Illyrians, by which the previous con- 
quest of Philip was strengthened and con 
firmed. In the Olympic games the king's 
chariot won a prize in the £Etce of the sharpest 
competition ; and last, but not least, a son 
was bom and named — Alexander. 

At this time Central Greece — especially 
Athens — was distracted by the Social War. 
A coalition wa[s formed against that state by 
BjTzantium, Rhodes, Chios, and Cos; and the 
efforts of the mother city to suppress the re- 
volt proved unavailing. The conflict, how- 
ever, was continued (B. C. 357-355) until 
Artaxerxes interfered, and Athens was obliged 
to assent to the independence of her insurgent 
dependencies. Meanwhile another contest, 
known as the Sacred War,^ had broken out 
between Thebes and Phocis. The people of 
the latter state had long been held in dislike 
by the Thebans, who now, using their great 
influence in the affairs of Greece, secured a 
vote at the Amphictyonic council by which a 
heavy fine was imposed on the Phocians, who 
had— iis was alleged — ^been cultivating a por- 
tion of the consecrated plain of Cirriia. 

Phocis, after protesting in vain and being 
afllicted with a second fine, flew into a pas- 
sion, and, under the lead of Philomelus, seized 
Delphi, temple, oracle, and all. With the 
enormous treasures thus secured, the Phocians 
bid defiance to the Thebans. Ten thousand 
mercenaries were hired, and with this force 
Philomelus, making his way into Locris, de- 
feated the army which Thebes had put into 

' This was the second conflict so-called. See tu- 
pra, p. 518. 


the field against him. But the tide rooq 
turned, and in a second battle die Phocians 
were routed and their leader killed. Ono- 
marchus succeeded to the command, and the 
war continued with varying success and 
great barbarity; for the sacrilegious nature 
of the quarrel embittered the contest by 
U much as superstition is more cruel than 

Thus by the Social and the Sacred War 
was Greece neakened. Philip saw in the dis- 
tractions of his neighbors on the south an 
opportunity to interfere for the aggrandize- 
ment of his own influence. First he invaded 
Thesealy, where the exactions of Alexander 
of Pherte and his 
successors had so 
embittered the 
people that an 
easy conquest was 
open to any lib- 
eral-minded and 
sagacious general. 
The town of Phe- 
IX, however, more 
subjected to the 
influence of the 
recent tyrants 
than other Thes- 
salian cities, re- 
sisted Philip and 
was besieged. 
Onomarcbus, the 
Phocian, who had 
received some assistance from the Phene- 
ans, now sent a force of seven thousand men 
to their aid, and Philip was obliged to retire 
for a time from the country. Returning, 
however, with an army of twenty thousand 
men he overran all Thessaly, but Onomarchua 
again marched into the country and gave the 
Macedonian battle near the gulf of Pagasfe. 
The latter was this lime completely victorious. 
The Phocian general was slain. Philip pro- 
claimed himself the defender of the Delphic 
shrine, and was about to march at once into 
Central Greece, "but was turned back by a 
strong force posted at Thermopylte. 

Now it was that the great Demosthenes 
appeared in the arena at Athens. The peo- 

ple of the city divided into a Macedonian and 
an anti-Macedonian party. The latter was 
led by the orator; the former, by his 
rivals, Phocion and .£echines. The story of 
the life of Demosthenes is fiill of interest and 
instruction. Defrauded by his guardians and 
turned out in poverty on the world, weak in 
body, and subject to great dejection, he began 
a struggle for preeminence against every di» 
advantage. His first public appearance oa 
the beraa was a failure ; but he applied him- 
self with indefatigable industry to study and 
practice, and soon wrested from public opin> 
ion the palm of oratory which ■ twenty-two 
centuries have not plucked away. 

The subject which then agitated the Athe- 
nians — the encroachments of Philip and the 
consequent peril to the liberties of Greece — 
was of a sort to evoke the highest interest and 
to arouse the most patriotic passions. In a 
series of orations known as the Philippia the 
orator discussed the whole question involved 
in the present state of bis country, and more 
particularly sought to stimulate the Athenians 
to a vigorous and united efibrt to stay the 
approach of the Macedonians. His eflhrts, 
however, were comparatively unavailing. In 
B. 0. 352 the assembly voted to organize a 
fleet to operate against Philip, but the move- 
ment was marked by neither energy nor suc- 
cess. Two years Uter the city of Olynthus, 
still at the head of the Northern coniederacy, 
sent an urgent appeal to Athens to asfflst in 
repelling tiie insidious, but now scarcely dis- 
guised, ambitions of Philip. Demoethenes 
delivered three orations, known as the Olytitki- 
act, on the question thus presented to the as- 
sembly. But no energetic action could be 
evoked, even by the fiery appeals of the 
matchless orator. Greece sat languidly by 
and saw town after town of the Olynthian 
league won over or conquered by PhUip, until 
finally Olynthus herself was taken, her forti- 
fications leveled, her people sold as slaves, and 
the whole Chalcidician peninsula reduced to 
a Macedonian province. 

Meanwhile, the disgraceful Sacred War 
continued. As long as the treasures in the 
Delphian temple held out, the Phocians wore 
able year after year to hire new armies of mer- 


I and continue the struggle. Thebes 
was, perhaps, aa nearly exhausted as her 
rivaL In tliu condition of afiurs the ques- 
tion was bruited of a league which, beginning 
with the Thebans and the Athenians, should 
extend to most of the states of Central 
0reec6 — to the end that civil hostilities might 
cease, and the country be united to repel for- 
eign aggresuon. 

The news of this promimng enterprise, 
however, was carried to Philip, and in the 
summer of B. C. 347 he sent indirect pro- 
posals to Athens inviting a conference in the 
mutual interests of, the two powers. In re- 
cuse the Athenians sent an erabassy to the 
court of FhUip headed by Demosthenes, .£8- 
chines, and Phi]ocrat«s. They were enter- 
tained by that wily monarch, but not^iing 
came of the negotiations. The Macedonian 
king soon afterwards sent an embassy to 
Athens, and the terms of a treaty were 
agreed upon. In order to secure the rati£ca- 
tion of this compact tbe former Athenian 
envoys were again dispatched to Macedon, 
but Philip was absent on a campaign; and 
even when he was found he insisted that the 
ambassadors should accompany him into Thes- 
«aly to mediate, as he averred, between Phar- 
aalia and Halus. The whole object was to 
gain time to prosecute his plans in Central 

The treaty, however, was ratified. The 
envoys of Athens returned home. Demos- 
thenes entered a protest against the conditions 
of the settlement. Hb following in the city 
declared that ^^lechines had deluded the peo- 
ple with a false notion of security. The 
nsual political wrangle occurred; but the 
Macedonian party was in the ascendant, and 
a vote 0^ thanks to Philip woe paned hy the (U- 
KvMy for the tenrn vihidi ht had didatedt That 
monarch was already on his march into 
Greece. The supine Athenians sent him 
word that unless the Phodans would redeliver 
to the Amphictyons the shrine of Apollo they 
would unite with him against the defilers of 
the sacred city. The curtain was up for the 
last scene in the independence of Greece. 

In the mean time, Phaleecus, general of 
the Pbocian army, entered into negotiations 

with Philip and withdrew, with the monarch's 
consent, into Peloponnesus. The Macedonian 
then entered Phocis without opposition. The 
towns made a virtue of necessity by surren- 
dering. Delphi was taken. The Amphicty- 
ons were convened. To them was referred 
the question as to what disposition should ba 
made of those who had profaned the temple 
of Apollo and wasted his treasures. The' 
council voted that every Phocian town, witli 

the exception of Abse, should be leveled to 
the ground. The people should be scattered 
into hamlets of not more than &ttj houses. 
The Riocians should be taxed untU the an 
nual tribute should amount to ten thonsanii 
talents — tiiis to replace the squandered treas- 
ures of the temple. The Spartan members 
of the Amphictyony should be deposed. 
Finally and specially : the two votes of Phooif 
in the council should be taken away and con- 
ferred on Philip of Macedon! Thus, in the 
year B. C. 346, was a foreign king, with Ml 
power to enforce his will, given a seat at the 
head of that venerable body, which for so 


many centuries had been reserved witb sacred 
fidelity for members of the Hellenic race. 

It was now do more thau a question 
of time when the Maceduoiaii monarch would 
assert his advantage aiid absorb the Greek 
states in his dominions. The try of patriot- 
ism might now be lifted in the slreeta, but to 
what purpose? The rapid decline of the 

and versatUe people who contributed to sa- 
tiquity her brightest pages. The voice of the 
Greek, so shrill in battle so musical in peace; 
bis gay activities, his energy, so often reviv- 
ing from humiliation and ruin ; bis brush, bi> 
chisel — alas, for all these! where are theyT 
The beauty of Athens has sunk into the dust 
The wolves of Mount Taygetus howl in the 


Grecian communities, their failure in public 
spirit, the decadence of Grecian institutions, 
and the substitution of centralization for indi- 
viduality — all this will corae properly into the 
field of view in the course of the following 
Book, which will contain the history of the 
Macedonian ascendency. 

For the present, it is sufficient U> take 
leave, not without regret, of that brilliant 

dark among the broken stones of Sparta. 
The splendor of Corinth is no more. Only 
by the imperishable Thought — th« verse of 
Homer, the page of Herodotus, the infinite 
spirit of Plato, the clarion of Demosthenes — 
has the renown of Hellas survived, illumiimig 
the world that now is, and shedding a glory 
over her name, even to the fer-ofl" shores of 
the setting sun. 


i c. 

X.i .- 

A J 

'$mk :]|tnl^. 


Chap>xer xlviii.— coun iky, cixies, and tribe^s. 

£ most ancient name of 
be country known in the 
imes of Philip and Alex- 
nder, as Macedon, or 
lACEDOMtA. was Emathia. 
(7 this appellation it is 
-Bferred to in the Iliad. 
Doubtless the more receat name was derived 
from the mythical founder of the nation, a 
certain Macedo, who was, of course, one of 
the sons of Zeus. Another ancient appella- 
tive of this country was Macetia, or the land 
of the Macetie, which name, in its turn, has 
been associated by the curious with the word 
Kittira, used in the tenth chapter of Genesis. 
Already in the times of Herodotus the more 
ancient names had been rejected in favor of 
Macedon ; but the region so called was, in the 
times of that ancient story-teller, only a small 
district in the vicinity of Mount Pindus. A 
better acquaintance with the primitive lan- 
guage |of the Macedonians would, no doubt, 
throw much light, not only on the origin of 
the tribes by which Macedon was peopled, but 
also on the geographical districts in which 
they settied 

Of the general character of the countries 

which constituted the empire of Alexander 
much has already been said. Nearly all of 
the provinces within the hmits of that vast 
dominion, except Macedonia Proper, had beer 
previously included in one or more than one 
of the kingdoms which preceded the advent 
of the conqueror. What had been Egypt, 
Chaldffia, Assyria, Media, Babylonia, became 
Persia; and the various countries dominated 
by Cyrus and Cambyses were in turn subdued 
by the son of Philip. These countries, having 
been described in the preceding Books, from 
the First to the Seventh inclusive, will here 
require no further consideration as it respects 
their geography or productions. It is only of 
the charactor'of the original kingdom of Philip 
that something should now be added. 

Macedonia, then, is bounded on ths soutl] 
by the Cambunian mountains, which divide 
it from Thesaaly. On the west rises the chain 
known in different parts of its course as Scar- 
dus, Bemus, Pindus. Beyond this range lies 
Blyria. . From Mteda on the north, Macedo- 
nia is divided by the Orbelian mountains, 
while on the east it is separated from Thrace 
by the river Strymou The country was thus 
included on three sides by mountainous eleva- 




dons, and on the fourth by a stream of con- 
siderable volume. In the time of Herodotus, 
Macedon had boundaries not nearly so great 
as those here given ; but in the age of the 
geographer Strabo, the limits were made to in- 
clude a large part of lUyria and Thrace. 

The rivers of Macedonia are three in num- 
ber; the Axius, the Lydias, and the Haliac- 
mon. All of them find their way into the 
Thermaic gulf. The most easterly and largest 
is the Axius, now called the Vardar. It 
gathers its waters from the hill-country, be- 
tween the ranges of Scardus and Orbelus, and 
flows in a course somewhat south-easterly, re- 
ceiving several tributaries, the most important 
being the Ericon. The second of the princi- 
pal streams is the Lydias, now called the 
Kara Azmac. This is the river which passes 
through th6 lake on which Pella, the capital 
of Macedonia was situated. It drains the cen- 
tral part of the country, and becomes conflu- 
ent with the Axius about a league above the 
entrance of that stream into the seS^ Still 
further to the south-east is the Haliacmon 
which gathers its streams from the Cambu- 
nians, and flows through the marshy districts 
of Macedonia into the sea. In the time of 
Herodotus, however, it was in its lower course 
deflected to the north and joined its waters 
with those of the Lydias before falling into 
the gulf. 

The valleys of these three rivers are sepa- 
rated from one another by tranverse chains of 
mountains, branching from the Scardus. The 
range dividing the Haliacmon from the Lydias 
is called Bermius, and that between the Ly- 
dias and the Axius, Dysorum. Macedonia was 
thus geographically constituted of three prin- 
cipal valleys, all opening out upon the Ther- 
maic gulf. 

It is, however, with the political divisions 
of the country rather than its physical con- 
stitution that the historian is mostly concerned. 
Within the limits of Macedonia, then, as it 
was inherited by Philip, son of Amyntas, 
were to be found the following provinces: 
Lyncestis, Stymphalia, Orestis, Elimea, Eor- 
dsea, Pieria, Bottisea, Emathia, Mygdonia, 
Chalcidice, Bisaltia, and Pseonia with its sub- 
divisions. Lyncestis, the first of these dis- 

tricts lay to the west, next to Dlyria, from 
which it was divided by the Bemus range. 
It was bounded on the north by Pseonia. 
The principal stream was the Erigonus, and 
the principal thoroughfistre the Egnatian Way. 
The district was originally inhabited by an in- 
dependent tribe governed by their own king. 

To the south-east of Lyncestis lay the ter- 
ritory of Orestis. The barbarians of this dis- 
trict also were originally independent of the 
Macedonian kings. The country was of small 
extent and contained but few towns, the prin- 
cipal being Celetrum and Orestia, the latter 
the birthplace of Ptolemy Lagus. Immedi- 
ately south of this district was the small coun- 
try of Stymphalia, the prmcipal town of 
which was Gyrtona. Like the two preceding, 
the original 8tymph$ei were barbarians, and 
retained their independence until conquered 
by the Macedonian kings. Immediately east 
was the province of Elimea, a mountainous 
and barren country, but of great importance 
to . the Macedonians ; for through this district 
lay the passes into Epirus and Thessaly. The 
principal river of Elimea was the Haliacmon ; 
the principal towns were a city of the same 
name as the province and w£ane, said to have 
been founded by colonists from Tyre. 

Adjacent to Elimea on the east was the 
little barbarian state of Eord.£A, which, like 
its neighbors, maintained its independence 
until subjugated by Macedon. Thi;ough this 
district passed the great Egnatian Way, which 
reached from Edessa and Pella into Greece. 
The two principal towns of the state were 
Cellse and Amissa. Further to the south-east 
was the celebrated district of Pieria, said to 
have been the birthplace of Orpheus and the 
native seat of the Muses. Pieria was contig- 
uous to Thessaly, and was nestled at the base 
of Olympus. It contained the towns of Phila — 
situated near the famous Thessalian vale of 
* Tempe — Heraclia, and Dium, one of the chief 
cities of Macedonia; also the small town of 
Pimplea, in which Orpheus was bom, and 
near which is the conical tumulus, said to be 
the tomb of that mythical maker of song. In 
this same district was the city of Pydna, cele* 
brated for the great victory gained there bj 
Publius ^milius over the Macedonians under 



Peneus — hj which event the Empire founded 
by Philip was at last extinguished. Some 
miles to the north of this city was the town 
of Methone, before the walls of which, as wiU 
be remembered, the right eye of Philip was 
shot out by an archer.^ Another Pierian town 
of some importance was Phylace ; and a short 
distance to the north of this was Agassse, which 
was occupied by iBmilius after the battle of 

The next subdivision of ancient Macedonia 
was the province of BorriiBA, situated between 
the Haliacmon and the Lydias. One of the 
principal towns of this district was Alorus, on 
the left bank of the Haliacmon. At the 
mouth of the Lydias was the city of Jehnse, 
and a hundred and twenty stadia up that 
river was Pella, the Macedonian capital. 

Emathea was, as already said, the most 
ancient of the Macedonian districts. It was 
the small but fertile region in which was 
planted the central root of that great tree 
which was destined to overshadow the nation. 
According to tradition this province was first 
colonized by a company of Argives, called 
the Temenid». The chief city was iBg», or 
Edessa, which up to the time of Philip was 
regarded as the capital of Macedonia. The 
other important cities were Cydrse, Brysi, 
Mieza, and Cyrrhus, in the latter of which 
was the temple of Athene, built by Alexander. 
Nor should failure be made to mention the 
two cities of Citium and Idomene, the former 
of which was the head-quarters of Perseus, and 
the latter of some note on account of its cap- 
.ture by Sitalces, king of the Odrys®. 

The province of Mygdonia extended from 
the Axius to the Strymon. It remained under 
the dominion of the primitive barbarians until 
they were expelled by the Temenidae. The 
principal river of the district was the Axius, 
and the chief town Amydon, which is men- 
tioned in the Iliad as a place of note. At the 
mouth of the Axius was the city of Chalastra, 
which was one of the first places taken by 
Xerxes in his invasion of Greece. On the 
river Echedorus, which loses itself in a vast 
marsh close to the Axius, was situated the 
ancient city of Them», the modem Theasa- 
* See $fquiinr, p. 621 . 

lonica, one of the most celebrated of the Mace- 
donian cities. 

To the south and east of Mygdonia lay the 
peculiar province of Chalcidice, consisting of 
several peninsulas, jutting into the ^gean. 
This region was originally colonized by people 
firom the island of Euboea. The Chalcidicians 
for a long time maintained their independence, 
but were at length subjugated and added to 
the conquests of the Macedonian kings. The 
peninsula of Pallene was of special importance. 
Here was said to have occurred the combat 
between the gods and the Titans. A more 
authentic distinction was the possession of the 
rich city of Potidsea, which occupied the neck 
of the bthmus by which Pallene was joined 
to the main-land. This place was founded at 
a very early date by a colony of Corinthians, 
but in after times it became a dependency of 
Athens. Afterwards, near the same site, was 
founded by Cassander the city of Cassandrea, 
which at one time was the most opulent munic- 
ipality in all Macedonia. Other important 
towns in the peninsula were Clitse, Aph3rtis, 
Neapolis, Thrambus, Mende, and Seione, all 
of which are mentioned by Herodotus. 

Between Pallene and the next of the three 
peninsulas, named Sithonia, at the head of 
the gulf, was the celebrated city of Olynthus, 
founded by Eretrians from Euboea. This cor- 
poration at a very early date adopted a demo- . 
cratic form of government, and taking up the 
federative system, which had been so success- 
fully employed by the Athenians, became the 
center of that Olynthian league which will 
occupy our attention in the times of King 
Philip. The people of the Sithonian penin- 
sula were of Thracian origin, though several 
of the towns — such as Gralepsus and Torone — 
were founded by Greek colonies. 

The third of the Chalcidician peninsulas is 
called Ar^te. It is that tongue of land which 
terminates in Mount Athos, and which was cut 
off* from the shore by the canal of Xerxes. 
Acte abounded in towns, of which the princi- 
pal were Sane — on the SingitJc gulf — Uranop- 
olis, Dium, ApoUonia, Thyssus, Cleonse, and 
Acanthus, which stood at the other extremity 
of the canal from Sane. This was perhaps the 
most important city in this part of Chalcidice, 



and will be frequently mentioned as the scene 
of historical events. Nor should Arethusa, 
the burial-place of Euripides, be omitted from 
a list of Chalcidician towns. 

The next of the Macedonian provinces was 
BiSALTiA, situated between the river Strymon 
and the lake Bolbe. This district was orig- 
inally settled by colonists from Thrace. It was 
governed by native kings until the time of 
Xerxes, and soon aflerwards fell into the hands 
of the Macedonians. The chief town of the 
province was Argil us, said to have been founded 
by a colony from the island of Andros. In 
the interior were several other towns — Ossa, 
Bisaltes, Berta, Arolus, and Callithera — of no 
great importance in Macedonian history. 

The country of Pjeonia, though after the 
times of Philip included in Macedon, was pre- 
viously an independent state. It was by far 
the largest of those original territories on which 
the son of Amyntas laid the foundations of 
his dominion. As early as the time of the 
Trojan war the Pceonians were powerful enough 
to be conspicuous in the host of Agamemnon. 
They embraced originally several barbarian 
tribes; but these were ultimately gathered into 
one nation, governed by a single chief The 
subordinate provinces into which Pseonia was 
divided were Pelagonia, with its cities of Stu- 
bera and Bryanium ; Deuriopis ; and the 
countries of the Almopes, lori, Agrianes, and 
Doberes. The various tribes inhabiting these 
districts gradually lost their individuality, and 
were absorbed into a single people. 

The geography of Macedonia should not be 
dismissed without a reference to the great 
thoroughfare by which the difierent provinces 
and towns were connected. This was known 
by its Roman name of Via Egnatxa^ or the 
Egnatian Way. It was a great military road 
leading from Lyncestis, on the confines of II- 
lyria to Edessa, Pella, Methone, and the other 
principal Macedonian cities. From the main 
way several roads branched north and south, 
the former leading into Pseouia, Dardania, 
Moesia, and the Danubian districts, and the 
latter into the southern provinces of the king- 
dom, Thessaly and Central Greece. 

In the course of these geographical notes 
t>n Macedonia references not a few have been 

made to the primitive peoples by whom the 
country was settied. It wiU now be appro- 
priate to notice somewhat more fully those 
early populations and their movements down 
to the time when the kingdom was firmly es- 
tablished by the House of Amyntas. The 
origin of the Macedonian dynasty has been 
involved in much dispute. Only one thing 
may be regarded as certainly established, and 
that is that the royal family was sprung from the 
race of the Temenidfie of Argos, and that these 
were,according to tradition, the descendants of 
Hercules. The myth is to the effect that the 
Argive Cavanus, who was the son of Temenus, 
who was the son of Hercules, led out a colony 
from his native city, and, arriving in Emathia, 
overcame the reigning king, Midas, and took 
possession of Edessa, the capital. It would 
thus appear that the dynasty was Dorian in 
its origin, being thus allied with the Lace- 
daemonians, more than with the .£olian and 
Ionian races. Herodotus, however, recites the 
tradition somewhat difiTerentiy. By him we 
are told that three brothers — Gravanes, ^ro- 
pus, and Perdiccas — descendants of Temenus, 
left Argos, and making their way into Upper 
Macedonia, succeeded in establishing a king- 
dom which fell to Perdiccas, the youngest of 
the three ; and with thb statement of the Fa- 
ther of History the concurrent testimony of 
Thucydides may also be adduced. By some 
authors it is held that there was a double mi- 
gration, and that the three brothers were the 
grandsons of Cavanus. 

Of the reigns of the first four kings who 
succeeded the mythical Perdiccas nothing is 
known ; but in the reign of Amyntas (B. .C. 
537-498), who was the fifth in descent from 
the founder, the afiTairs of Macedonia begin to 
come into the light. It was already the be- 
ginning of the Persian aggressions in the West. 
Megabazus, the general of Darius, having al- 
ready made considerable conquests in Thrace 
and Paeonia, advanced to the northern bor- 
ders of Macedonia ; and Amyntas was glad to 
make his submission as a condition of peace. 
Soon afterwards some of the Persian officers 
ofiTered grave insults to the Macedonian women, 
whereupon Alexander, son of Amyntas, took 
summary vengeance on the oflTenders. A diffi- 



eahy thus arose which was about to bring on 
war, but hostilities were avoided by the timely 
marriage of Gygea, daughter of Amyntas, to 
Bubares, the Persian 4eputy, who had been 
sent out to obtain satisfaction for the murder 
of the Qreat King's officers. 

On his accession to the throne this prince 
Alexander presented hinwelf for admission to 
participation in the Olympic games. He wa^. 
at fi.rst refused, but on an examination of his 
claims to be an Argive by descent, the man- 
agers decided that the Macedonian dyi^asty 
was indeed Greek, and the prince was accord- 
ingly admitted. 

The reign of Alexander covered the period 
of the great Persian invasion of Greece. Mace- 
donia was occupied by the invaders, and the 
king had a difficult part to perform between 
tlie Greeks with whom he sympathized, and 
the Persians whom he dreaded. He sent much 
secret information to the allied commanders, 
but at the same time succeeded in retaining 
the confidence of the barbarians. At last 
Mardonius sent him to Athens in a final efibrt 
which he made to detach that commonwealth 
from the Greek league. 

During the reign of Perdiccas, who suc- 
ceeded his father, Alexander (B. C. 476), on 
the throne, the affairs of the kingdom became 
more complicated. The prince was of a crafty 
disposition, and took part according to his in- 
terest in the politics of Greece. He sided first 
with the Lacedsemonian and then with the 
Athenian party, as success inclined from one 
to the other. While in league with the Spar- 
tc\ns, he induced the revolt of several Athenian 
dependencies in the north ; but for this course 
he was presently punished witli an invasion of 
his own kingdom by Sitalces, king of Thrace, 
by whom Macedonia was well-nigh overrun. 

From a description given by Thucydides 
of the extent of the Macedonian dominions in 
the time of Perdiccas, it may be seen that the 
country then embraced nearly all the provinces 
and tribes which were included under the au- 
thority of Philip, the father of Alexander. 
Pseonia had not yet been subjugated, but the 
remaining districts were nearly all ruled by 
the house of Temenus. It was a proper retri- 
bution to the Macedonian king that the war 

which he fomented in the north between Atli- 
ens and Sparta, and which led to the expedi- 
tion of Brasidas, brought to him no augmenta- 
tion of power, but only disappointment. 

Quite unlike Perdiccas was his son and 
successor, Archelaus. He soon proved him- 
self to be the most prudent and liberal of the 
earlier kings. To his single reign Thucydides 
ascribes a greater improvement in the condi- 
tion of the kingdom than to all the eight that 
had preceded. The internal affairs of the state 
now began to receive the attention and sup- 
port of the government. Roads were built, 
fortresses erected, the army equipped and or- 
ganized. It was the dawn of art and litera- 
ture at the Macedonian court. Distinguished 
men were invited thither by the king, who 
sought to substitui^ the feign of intelligence 
for the reign of force. At his capital Eu- 
ripides resided for many years, supported by 
royal favor. Zeuxis, the celebrated painter, 
lent his genius to the work of decorating the 
residence of the king. Socrates also was in- 
vited to reside in Edessa, but, as usual, that 
resolute and saturnine genius refused to be 
beholden to any., A great light began thus 
to be difiTused through the North, which, if 
less resplendent than the glow which kindled 
over Athens, was nevertheless such as to dis- 
pel the shadows beyond Olympus. 

Archelaus fell by the hand of an assassin, 
though the occasion and circumstances of his 
death are not fully known. After his reign 
Macedonia suffered a decline. Of the careers 
of the four following kings very little has been 
preserved either in history or tradition. The 
fifth sovereign from Archelaus was Amyntab, 
who inherited the kingdom in a distracted con- 
dition, and suffered most of the ills of kingly 
misfortune. Domestic troubles kept him em- 
broiled, and foreign foes were busy on his 
borders. Of these the most active were the 
Ulyrians on the west, and the Olynthians on 
the north-east. From the former he purchased 
a respite by means of bribes and presents, and 
from the latter he was saved by the interfer- 
ence of the Spartans. For twenty-four years 
(B. C. 393-369) he supported the arduous 
duties of government and died, leaving three 
sons to the care of their mother, Eurydioe 



Of these sons the eldest was Alexander; 
cue second, Perdiccas ; and the youngest, 
Philip — that Philip who was destined to make 
his power felt in all the West, and to pave the 
way for the still greater achievements of bis 
son. Thus through the r^on of myth and 
tiuditioa have been traced the brief annals of 

Macedonia from the days of tha eariier T» 
menidro to the time when the great state of 
the North, under the direction of the son of 
Amyntas, began Brnt to be distinctly felt as a 
political power, and then to rise rapidly to an 
unequivocal ascendency over all the surround- 
ing kingdoms. 

Chapxer xlix.— reign or Philip. 

F the career of Philip of 
Macedon a sketch has al- 
ready been given in the 
History of Greece. To 
him thB Macedonian Em- 
pire owed its foundatioo 
and strength. Without 
the mastertUl abilities of his more distinguished 
■on, without the far-reaching ambition of Cs- 
■ar, he nevertheless possessed the genius to 
grasp the condition of his tiroes, and to plant 
on the ruins of surrounding states the foot of 
power and dominion. 

Philip was the third and youngest son of 
Amyntas. The eldest brother, Alexander, lost 
his life in a civil turmoil. Perdiccab, the next 
eldest, was hard pressed by opposition, and was 
(,n the eve of losing the kingdom, when Pelop- 
idas, the Theban, interfered in his behalf, and 
secured under his powerful influence the peace- 
ful possession of the crown. It was in grati- 
tude for this support that Perdiccas, as an 
. earnest of good faith and a pledge for the 
fidelity of Macedonia to the interests of Thebes, 
gave into the friendly custody of Pelopidas 
the youth Philip and thirty others from the beet 
fiimilies in the kingdom. 

Thus it was that destiny prepared th-: way 
fcr greatness. For Philip could hardly have 
kcome the distinguished monarch that he was 
tut for the incident which, bringing him to 
Thebes, threw him into contact with the civil- 
ization of the Greeks. His education was of 
precisely the sort to fashion a hero. He was 
established in the family of Polyranua. father 
of Epaminondas; and here he absorbed bis 
first ideas of politics and generalship. He 

became at an early age familiar with tlie lit- 
erature anc customs of the Greeks, learned 
their Unguage, became a Greek himself. The 
exanlple and influence of Epaminondas, whose 
conversation and friendship he enjoyed with- 
out restriction, molded his views and senti- 
ments. The Theban became his model. He 
grew like that which be admired ; and although 
his native talents and ambitions were by no 
means subordinated to the Theban environ- 
ment, yet so br as education could go towards 
the shaping of character and the determinatioD 
of future activities, to that extent undoubt- 
edly was ^hilip the result of the forces which 
played upon him while domiciled in Thebes. 
It must be confessed, moreover, that the Mac- 
edonian prince showed himself to be an apter 
pupil of Epaminondas in the matter of acquir- 
ing military skill than in imitating the sterling 
integrity and moral virtues of his model. For 
in essential soundness of character Philip was 
by no means comparable with the Theban 

During his residence at the Boeotian capital 
the prince, accompanied by his masters, trav- 
eled into other parts of Greece. He visited 
Athens and was profoundly impressed with 
the institutions and peculiarities of that city. 
There he became acquainted with the greatest 
geniuses of the age. Among his acquaintances 
and friends were Plato, Isocrates, and llieo- 
phrastus. He studied the Athenian character 
and apprehended its weakness and its strength. 
He was initiated into the mysteries of Deme- 
ter, and while attending one of the celebrsr 
tions held in honor of this divinity, had the 
good fortune to meet Olympias, daughter of 



&he king of JE^pirus, and mother that was to be 
of AlexaQder. 

boon afterwards the prince was called home 
CO enter, under trying circumstances, upon the 
duties of the kingdom. For a long time Illyria 
had claimed tribute of Macedonia. During 
the period when Amyntas, and after him Per- 
diccas, was supported by the powerful influence 
of Thebes, the claim had been refused. But 
when Pelopidas fell in the struggle with Alex- 
ander of PhersB and Epaminondas was pres- 
ently killed at the battle of Mantinea, Mace- 
donia was left to her own resources, and the 
• claims of the lUyrians were renewed. This pre- 
tense, however, was resisted by Perdiccas, who 
raised an army and took the field to maintain 
the independence of his kingdom. A hard 
battle was fought with the king of Illyria, in 
which the latter was completely victorious. 
Perdiccas was killed and four thousand of his 
troops cut to pieces. Macedonia was 'thus to 
all seeming left to the mercy of the foe. 

Now it was, in B. C. 383, that the youth- 
ful Phtlip was hurriedly recaUed from his 
sojourn in Greece to assume the duties of the 
tottering government It was, however, as 
regent for the infant son of Perdiccas, and not 
in his own right, that he began' his public 
career. The circumstances were disheartening 
to the last degree. The Llyrians were ravag- 
ing the country as the sequel of the victory 
over Perdiccas. The Pseonians, encouraged 
by supposed immunity from punishment, de- 
scended from the mountains and plundered as 
they would. Two claimants to the throne, 
Pausanias and Argseus, came forward in open 
opposition to Philip. . The Athenians were 
hostile on account of the alliance of Macedo- 
nia with Thebes, and sent an army to the 
North to prevent the rise of Philip to power. 
The Thracians also availed themselves of the 
opportunity to make an invasion of the country. 

The prince of Macedon, nothing daunted, 
ioon showed himself equal to the emergency 
of his country. His confidence inspired the 
people. An ancient oracle had said that Mac- 
edonia, under a son of Amvntas, should rise to 
the highest pitch of power. Philip was now 
the only son of Amyntas ; and should the pro- 
phetic voice of the gods prove false ? Soldiers 

rallied to the standard of the prince destined 
to victory. The Macedonian phalanx, mod* 
eled after that of Thebes as constituted by 
Epaminondas, was created. From every side 
of the huge living mass projected an impene- 
trable thicket of spears. With this invincible 
body of destruction, Philip bore down upon 
the Dlyrians and Pseonians, and in a short 
time routed them from the country. 
, This work was less serious than that of dis- 
posing of the rival claimants. In the princi- 
pal Macedonian towns there was a strong party 
in favor of Argseus. A fleet was sent out by 
Athens to uphold his pretensions. The squad- 
ron anchored before Methone, a city on the 
Thermaic gulf, and here a junction was efl*ected 
between the Macedonian malcontents and the 
Athenians. The combined forces then pro- 
ceeded to lay siege to Edessa, the capital of 
the province of Pieria; for it was believed 
that the capture of this place would decide 
the &te of the kingdom. But Philip was on 
the alert, and before the arrival of Argseus be- 
fore the town, the defenses were so strengthened 
that it could not be taken. The pretender 
then became alarmed for his safety and sought 
to retreat to Methone ; but on the way thither 
he was attacked by Philip and killed. The 
Macedonians in the army of the malcontents 
were kindly treated by the king and incorpo- 
rated with his own forces; and with singular 
liberality the Athenians under the command of 
Argaeus, were loaded with favors and sent home 
without any mark of contempt or cruelty. It 
was upon such acts as these that the future 
popularity of Philip in Central Greece was 
laid upon secure foundations. Generosity in 
the conduct of war was a new thing under 
Grecian skies — a &ct which at the first it was 
difficult to understand or appreciate. 

By this time the Illyrians had rallied from 
their first chastisement and gathered in great 
force on the western frontier. They were led 
by their king Bardyllus, now more than ninety 
years of age. A decisive battle was fought in 
which the new tactics and spirit of the Mace- 
donians bore down all oppositon. A signal 
victory was gained by Philip. Bardyllus was 
slain and the shattered powers of his govern- 
ment were unable to offer further resistance. 



niyru was converted ioto a Macedonmu prov- 
ince. Thia was the last of the premonitory 
struggles by which the authority of Philip was 
established on a basis that could not be shaken. 
The ambition of the king, however, was by 
no means appeased by these initial successes. 
The condition of Greece, moreover, at this 
time was such as to furnish abundant food for 
the aspiring spirit of the Macedonian ruler. 
In the long struggle between Thebes and 
Sparta, by which the resources of each had 
been, in a measure, exhausted, Athens had, in 
Bome degree, regained her pristine influence 
among the Grecian states. Epaminondas was 
dead, and the brief but glorious ascendency 
of Thebes had perished with him. Sparta was 
so broken by the long struggle of the war, that 
she exhibited no 
present sy m ptoros 
of a revival. 

The Athenians 
were thus left in 
a temporary pre- 
dominance in the 
affairs of Greece. 
But a foe more 
dangerous than 
the hosts of Per- 
sia, more to be 
dreaded than the 
Spartan Phalanx, 
AwsTOTLt-Museo vtatonti, ^gg rapidly sap- 
ping the founda- 
tion of Attic strength. The spirit of the peo- 
ple had given way to fickleness and frivolity. 
Patriotism was well-nigh dead. The old heroic 
virtues were extinct. The new vices of licen- 
tiousness ran riot in the streets ; and even the 
shrill clarion of Demosthenes was unable to 
evoke from the lethargy of his country, the in- 
dignant flash of ancient heroism. 

Nor were the Phocians and Thessalians in 
a better condition to resist the possible growth 
of Macedonia. The former people, brave and 
daring as they were, had exhausted their en- 
ei^es in the conflict- of the Sacred War, and 
the latter bad been so mischievously governed 
by Alexander of Pherte, and were by disposi- 
tion 80 reckless and eager for change as to 
lons no bulwark agwnst the designs of such a 

prince as Philip. That discerning monarch 
readily perceived in the condition of tUe <ire> 
cian states that Athens, being the most innn- 
ential, should be first won to his interests. 

Being by nature crafty and diplomatic, 
Philip adopted the policy of creating auii fi» 
tering in Athens a Macedonian party, upon 
which he could rely in the work of extending 
his influence over Greece. He accordingly 
espoused the Athenian cause in the Olynthian 
war, and aided the Greeks in regaining pofr 
session of Amphipolis. The latter, with their 
usual duplicity, soou repaid him by inducing 
the seaport town of Pydna to revolt, and it 
was in vain that Philip remonstrated against 
the bad faith of his allies. Thus early in the 
relation of the two powers was a breach effected 
and the seed sown of unending distrust. The 
immediate eflect was as unfortunate for Athens 
as it was displeasing to Philip ; for the Greeks 
were obliged, for the time, to abandon the 
siege of Amphipolis, and to try to save the 
honor of the state by the capture of a few un- 
important towns in Thrace. But what they 
thus failed to accomplish by force of arms waa 
soon eflected by one of their commanders. A 
certain Charidemus, having gone over to the 
Olynthians, succeeded in persuading the Am- 
phipolitans that their interests required them 
to enter into an alliance' with Athens. 

In the mean time Philip added to the dig- 
nity and promise of his court by marrying 
Olympias, daughter of the king of Epirus, a 
princess of great vivacity and beauty. Within 
a year, and on the very day of the announce- 
ment of a great victory by his general, Par- 
roenio, Philip received the news that an heir 
was bom to the throne of Macedon. It was 
to the king an event of great joy. He imme- ' 
diately expressed his delight in the following 
letter the philoMpher Aristotie, whom he at 
once selected as the future teacher of his son : 

" King Philip to Aristotle. HealthI You 
are to know that a son hath been bom to us. 
We thank the gods not so much for having 
bestowed him on us as for bestowing him at a 
time when Aristotle lives. We assure our- 
selves that you will form him a prince worthy 
to be our successor, and a king worthy of 
Macedon. Farewell." 



Betuming to the relation of Philip to the 
Greeks, the next important complications to 
be noted were those arising firom the Social 
War. Rhodes, Chios, Byzantium, and Cos, 
supported by king Mausolus, rose against the 
Athenians and entered into a league for mu- 
tual defense. A declaration was published that 
the members of the alliance were ''resolved 
henceforward to protect their own commerce 
with their own fleets; and wanting thus noth- 
ing from the Athenian navy they would, of 
course, pay nothing for its support" At the 
same time an insurrection broke out in the 
island of Euboea; and the Thebans, being 
solicited to aid those in rebellion, passed over 
thither with an army. But the Athenian 
general, Timotheus, succeeded without great 
difficulty in bringing the insurgents to submis- 
sion, and as for the Thebans, who had rashly 
rushed into the conflict, they were glad to 
capitulate with the privUege of retiring fit)m 
the island. 

At this juncture, however, and before Ti- 
motheus could proceed against the other states 
in insurrection, the alarming news was borne 
from the North that Philip, justly angered at 
the Athenians for having induced the inhab- 
itants of Pydna to revolt against him, had 
made an alliance with Olynthus, thus threat- 
ening the overthrow of Potidsea, Methone, and 
all the other dependencies of Athens in that 
region. Owing, however, to the distracted 
condition of Attic public opinion, it was 
thought better to enter into negotiations with 
Philip and the Olynthians rather than to take 
up the sword. Thus would the Athenians be 
left free to bring the Social War to successful 
conclusion. Ambassadors were accordingly 
dispatched from Athens to Macedon, and a 
counter embassy was presently sent by Philip. 

Not much headway was made, however, to- 
ward the establishment of peace. The politic 
Macedoniaq king made some concessions to the 
Athenians, especially by the surrender of the 
town Anthemus, but he reserved his settled 
purpose to wrench fit)m the Greeks,' at the 
earliest opportunity, the possession of Amphi- 
polis. Nor was the occasion long deferred. 
Having fomented the discord which already 

existed in the city, and strengthened as far as 
N.— Vol. 1—38 

practicable the Macedonian party among the 
Amphipolitans, he suddenly besieged the place 
and compelled a surrender. The Athenian 
party within the walls was subjected to no 
persecutions. The prisoners were set at lib 
erty, only a few of the more rampant leaden 
of the Athenian faction being reserved for 

Having secured this im'portant conquest, 
Philip immediately turned his attention to the 
two towns of Pydna and Potidsea. In both 
of these cities, as well as in all the other Chal- 
cidician towns, a strong party remained at- 
tached to the interests of the king, and by a 
prudent use of this friendly faction the work 
of subjugation was abridged and facilitated. 
Such was the influence of the king with the 
inhabitants of both Pydna and Potidsea that 
both places were taken without any prolonged 
investment or serious opposition frt)m within. 

In both captures Philip again displayed his 
magnanimity. Indeed, Potidsea was volun- 
tarily restored to the Olynthians, the king 
being careful, however, to protect the Athenian 
faction frt)m the rage of the natives. His 
liberality .extended even to supplpng with a 
free hand the needs of those who had been sud- 
denly reduced by the capitulation' to poverty. 
The eflect of thb unusual procedure was still 
further to strengthen the ever-widening influ- 
ence of the Macedonian. All the towns from 
the borders of Thessaly to the Thracian Cher- 
sOnesus, acting of their own accord, renounced 
their relations with the Greeks and added 
themselves to the dominions of the king. Even 
in the streets of Athens the praises of Philip 
were freely spoken by his friends and admirers. 

So great was the embarrassment of the 
Greeks, occasioned by the liberality of the 
popular monarch of the North, that the latter 
was left comparatively tree to prosecute what 
plan soever he might adopt for the fiirther ex- 
tension of his power. His next enterprise 
was the conquest of Thrace. The king of this 
country was ^italces — a kind of ** genius,* 
being a mixture of ruler and rhapsodist He 
aflected in his government the manners of the 
East. He chose not war as a pursuit, or to 
devote himself to those works which the an- 
cients regarded as heroic. To Iphicrates, the 



&yorite Athenian general, he gave his daugh- 
ter in marriage, trusting by this soft method 
of substitution to station a warrior between 
himself and harm. Thus might he find oppor- 
tunity to retire with his court to some Arca- 
dian river-bank, and there sit musing among 
the flowers while the brutal race of his fellow- 
IDen surrendered itself to the bloody intoxica- 
tions of war. Albeit the king of Macedon 
made short work with this poetic sovereign, 
who, unable to meet the pupil of Epaminondas 
in the field, sent to him a literary effusion, 
with which he thought to soften the stony 
heart of Mars. But Mars and his officers 
were infinitely amused. They laughed im- 
moderately at this new species of tactics, and 
then proceeded to complete the conquest of the 
country.^ In the course of the expedition the 
gold mines of Thrace were captured by the 
Macedonians, who immediately began to work 
them with such success that Philip's revenues 
are said therefrom to have been augmented by 
more than a million of dollars annually. 

The king of Macedon, caring nothing for 
his friend Sitalces, whom he had just subdued, 
permitted that ruler to remain in nominal au- 
thority. Scarcely, however, had Philip with- 
drawn from Thrace when an insurrection broke 
out under the leadership of Miltocythes. The 
latter was supported by the Athenian party. 
Nevertheless Philip, though seeing clearly that 
the movement was instigated by his enemies, 
permitted the revolt to take its course until 
Sitalces was assassinated by a certain Python, 
who thereupon repaired to Athens and was 
rewarded for the murder. Not even this cir- 
cumstance, nor the subsequent persecution of 
the infant son of Sitalces by the Athenian 
party, induced Philip to interfere. Keeping 
steadily in view the one great purpose of ex- 
tending his authority over the whole of the 
Grecian peninsula, he was willing — even de- 
rired — that the Athenians and Thracians 
should exhaust themselves in the struggle, to 

*It was during this campaign of Philip in 
Thrace that he came upon the Thsesian colony of 
Grenidffi. Liking the situation of the settlement, 
he dislodged the occupants, and substituted in 
their place a company of Macedonians. The new 
colony was named Philippi— afterward rendered 
famous by the overthrow of Brutus and Cassius. 

the end that he might be the gainer from 
their weakness. 

The events which led to the outbreak of 
the Sacred War, beginning as it did in the 
animosity of Thebes and Phocis, and involving 
in its course nearly all of Central and most 
of Southern Greece, have already been nar- 
rated in the preceding Book.* It will be re* 
membered that the Phocians, under the lead 
of the able PhUomelus, and supported, though 
somewhat feebly, by Archidamus of Sparta, 
availed themselves of the resources of the 
Delphic temple, organized an army of merce- 
naries and defended themselves year after year 
against the assaults of the Thebans and their 
allies. They even defied the wrath of heaven* 
for the decree pronounced against them by thfj 
venerable Amphictyons was set at naught 

In the struggle that ensued the Athenians, 
though nominally arrajring themselves with the 
enemies of Phocis, in reality stood aloof For 
their own complications in the North, and 
especially the dread and suspicion of Philip, 
kept their attention directed to himward rather 
than to the vortex which was whirling around 
Delphi. There is good ground for believing 
that Athens, even at this time, contemplated 
sending an invitation to Philip to interfere ac- 
tively against the defilers of the Delphic tem- 
ple, and thus to become a member of the 
Hellenic body. Peshaps the suggestion of 
such a course was inspired by the king him- 
self, who greatly desired in this half-peaceable 
way to become a participant in the affiurs of 

In the mean time, however, Philip's in- 
terest was more immediately excited by the 
project of adding Methone to his possessions. 
This city was accordingly invested, and was 
brought to the brink of capitulation before 
the Athenians could interfere. Nor did their 
troops arrive, even at the last, in time to save 
the Methoneans from the clutches of their 
adversary. The town was taken in B. C. 353, 
and although the fortifications were razed to 
the ground and the lands divided among the 
soldiers, the prisoners were treated with the 
greatest moderation and humanity. Each was 
allowed without molestation to go quietly forth 

» See Book Eighth, p. 605. 



in search of a Dew home. Whether acting 
from huiuBDe and philanthropic motives or 
merely from the suggestions of policy, the 
conduct of the great Macedonian was in most 
grateful contrast with that of the other heroes 
of bis age. 

It was during the wege of Methone that 
Philip had the misfortune to lose one of hU 
eyes. A random arrow discharged from the 
rampart fell square in the king's face and de- 
stroyed one-half of his sight When the ar- 

was succeeded by Onomarchua, who in a short 
time effected an alliance with Lycophron, gen- 
eralissimo of Thessaly, whom Pbilip bad re- 
cently deposed from office. The issue was 
thus made of sustaining Lycophron by Pho- 
cian and overthrowing him by Macedonian 
influence. Pbilip marched into Thesaaly, as 
did also Phayllus, brother of Onomarchus. A 
severe battle was fought and the Phocians 
were defeated ; hut Onomarchus immediately 
came to the scene with another army, and the 


row-head was drawn away, it was found to 
eontun the following label : " Astor to Philip's 
right eye." It appeared on inquiry that the 
unerring missile had been discharged by an 
offended archer who had recently offered his 
services to the king and been rejected. He 
had represented to Philip that his skill with 
the bow was so great that he could kill a smalt 
bird on the wing. The king not believing the 
story had put off the applicant with the re- 
mark, "Well, well, I shall make use of thee 
when I go to war with the starlings." Astor 
had then joined the Methoneans and now vin- 
dicated his skill in a way never to be forgotten. 
Meanwhile the Phocian general, Philomelus, 

victory was reversed by the overthrow of the 

It was now the turn of Philip to rally and 
fight for his kingdom; for had Oooraarcbus 
Buccessfully followed up the advantage gained 
by the defeat of his adversary, the king might 
have been hard pressed to save his crown ; but 
to him the defeat which he had sustained was 
but a temporary reverse. He at once redrgaui 
ized his forces and augmented them to twenty 
thousand men. Onomarchus again came to 
the contest with an equal number of troops. 
Philip openly avowed bis cau^ to be that of 
the Greeks — the cause of Apollo and liberty 
against irreligion and the despotism of a tyrant 



Taking advantage of the superstition of the 
people, he decked the heads of his soldleiv 
with laurel, the emblem sacred to Phoebus. A 
spirit of enthusiasm was thus diffused through 
the army ; nor did the Phocians come to the con- 
flict without the highest incentives of battle. 

The struggle that ensued was long and 
bloody. As between the Macedonian and 
Phocian phalanxes, it seemed doubtful which 
would bear the other down. At length, how- 
ever, the fate of the day was decided by a 
charge of the Thessalian cavalry which broke 
the lines of Onomarchus, and was the begin- 

' ning of hb overthrow. The Phocians wavered 
and then fled. They were pressed into the sea 
by the triumphant Macedonians. Nor did the 
Athenian squadron, which just then hove in 
sight, arrive in time to bring s6ccor to the fu- 
gitives. Six thousand of the Phocians fell in 
the battle and the flight. Onomarchus him- 
self was killed and his body hung on a gibbet, 
Departing trom his usual method in victory, 
and yielding to that despicable spirit of relig- 
ious bigotry, which caught from the supposed 
vindictiveness of the gods, has in every age con- 
verted men into, demons, Philip gave his assent 
to the murder of the three thousand prisoners 
who fell into his hands. The effect of this 
decisive victory was to reverse completely the 
relative prospects of the two parties in the 

. North, and still further to open the way for 
the ambitious projects of the king. His posi- 
tion was already such as to enable him to in- 
fluence the destinies — at least indirectly — of 
most of the states of Greece. His army was 
the most effective in all Europe. His soldiers 
believed in his talents and courage. He had 
shown himself capable of magnanimity. Even 
superstition looked out from under her cowl, 
and gave him a sardonic smile as the avenger 
of sacrilege. 

After the defeat and death of Onomarchus, 
the command of the Phocian army was de- 
volved on Phayllus. The treasures of Delphi 
still sufficed to hire and equip armies. When 
it was seen that Apollo did not come down in 
sublime anger to destroy the profaners of his 
shrine, several of the other states seemed to 
have caught an itching palm for a share in the 
divine resources. The pliable Athens was not 

proof against the seductions of the sacred gold, 
and a force of five thousand of her citizens 
were enrolled under the mercenary banner of 
Phocis. The Achseans, too, were ready to 
share the spoils, and sent a contingent to be 
paid from the Delphic treasury. 

Notwithstanding these preparations, how- 
ever, the Thebans showed themselves more 
than a match for the heterogeneous soldiery 
commanded by Phayllus. The war continued 
with varying successes until finally at Chjebo- 
NEA a decisive battle was fought in which the 
Phocians were disastrously routed. After this 
toe scene of hostilities was transferred to Pe- 
loponnesus. Sparta took up the cau_se of Pho- 
cis. Megalopolis was besieged, and the adhe- 
rents of the sacred cause were hard pressed* 
until the Thebans came to the rescue. 

In the mean time the Athenians were busy 
in planning trouble for Philip in Thrace and 
Thessaly. Their most successful piece of di- 
plomacy was in the instigation of the revok 
of Olynthus. The king himself was absent on 
a campaign in Thrace when the news wa« 
borne to him of the Olynthian secession. It 
was not easy to perceive for what reason that 
people had rebelled against his authority ; but 
it is certain that the Athenians were privy to 
what was done, for they immediately de- 
spatched a fleet under the command of Chares 
to uphold the insurgents. It was late in the 
year before Philip could return fit)m his Thra- 
cian campaign and direct his attention to the 
rebellious city. When he approached with a 
large army the fears of the inhabitants got the 
better of their rash patriotism, and they sent 
out envoys to the king to discuss the question 
of a settlement. But Philip was now thor- 
oughly angered, and resolved to punish the 
Olynthians according to their deserts. The 
city was rigorously besieged, and was soon 
obliged to surrender at discretion. In this 
case the discretion was used with great sever- 
ity. Olynthus was leveled to the ground. The 
people were made prisoners and sold by public 
auction into slavery. No age or sex was 
spared by the enraged king, whose wrath, as is 
alleged, was fanned by the philosopher, Aris- 
totle, who was present at the sale, pointing 
out to Philip the richest citizens, and suggest' 


ing in what manner the heaviest ransoms might 
be obtained. 

By this time the power of the king of Mace- 
don was so well established, and his warlike 
fome bad sounded so far, as to make even the 
&ctiouB Greeks wary of further hostilities. 
They accordingly made overtures for peace, 
and sending a deputation of their most distin- 
guished citizens to represent the state, opehed 
negotiations with the king. The two orators, 
Dehosth£ne9 and .^BCHtNES, were the spokes- 
men on behalf of the Greeks. Aiter some 
length of discussion, in which it is said that 
the former, owing to the strangeness of the 
situaUon and the importance of the business 
in hand, appeared to a great disadvantage as 
compared with his rival, the conference was 
adjourned, and a counter embassy was pres- 
ently thereafter sent to Athens to make known 
the views of the king respecting the terms of 

Then followed the usual hot discussions in 
the Athenian assembly, and then in B. C. 346, 
fire plenipotentiaries were appointed to go to 
PeUa, the Macedonian capital, and conclude a 
settlement. Here the terms of the treaty were 
finally decided. All the states were brought 
to peace except Halus, which was excluded at 
the dictation of Athens, and Phocis, which was 
made an exception by the demand of Philip. 
Thus was a pacification effected between Ath- 
ens and Macedonia, and Philip was freed to 
bring the Phocian war to a conclusion. 

Accordingly, as soon as the treaty was made, 
a decree was passed by the Athenian assembly 
declaring that unless the Phocians should at 
once surrender the temple of Delphi to the 
Ampbictyons, Athens would enter the league 
against them. Philip himself addressed a let- 
ter of the same tenor to his allies in Central 
Greece, inviting all to join him in bringing to 
a sudden end the resistance of the contuma- 
cious Phocians. Phis proposition was rejected, 
however, by the Athenians, who greatly de- 
sired the friendly interest of Philip when it 
was manifested at a proper distance. Their 
duplicity, moreover, soon led them to open 
negotiations with Phocis; but the latter dis- 
trusted the overtures of her would-be ally, and 
tontinued the war. 

It was at this juncture of affairs that the 
scholarly and eloquent Isocrates gave to the 
Greeks his elaborate oration on the condition 
and true policy of the country. On the whole 
thf theory of the address was that the Greek 
race should accept the leadership of Philip in 
a crusade against barbarism. A pacific tone 
was assumed throughout, and the idea of a 
common cause in which the Greeks and Mace- 
donians should embark against a common 
enemy was made predominant The oration 
was after the manner of tbe tiroes addressed 
to Philip, and concluded in the following 
words; "The sum of what I advise is this — 
that you act beneficially toward the Greeks; 
that you reign constitutionally over the Mace- 
donians; that you extend your sway as wide 
as may be over 
the barbarians. 
And thus will 
you earn th^ 
gratitude of alt; 
of the Greeks, 
for the good you 
will do them ; 
of the Macedo- 
nians, if you 
will preside over 
them constitu- 
tionally and not 
and of all oih- 
ere, as far as you relieve them from bar 
baric despotism, and place tbem under the 
mildness of a Grecian administration. Others 
must have their opinions of what the times 
require, and will judge for themselves how &r 
what is here written may be adapted to them; 
but I am fully confident that no one will give 
yon better advice or any more fitly accommo- 
dated to the existing state of tbings." 

The effect of this able and dispassionate 
oration was favorable to a general pacification, 
but not on the basis of the local independence 
of the Greek states. The positions assumed 
by Isocrates were ably and passionately con- 
troverted by Demosthenes and other demo- 
cratic orators. Nor does it appear that Philip 
himself was at this time especially anxious to 
assume the office of arbiter in settling the 

Uuaeo Viacontl. 



qnarrelB of his southern neighbors. For the 
present he was detained with his campaign 
against Halus. That brought to a successful 
conclusion, he once more turned hb attention 
to the affairs of Phocis and resolved to bring 
the Sacred War to a sudden end. 

Collecting a large army, Philip advanced 
by way of Thermopylse into Central Greece. 
Here he was joined by the Thebans. The 
Phocians quickly perceived that their day had 
come. Athens was not to be trusted. Sparta 
had designs of her own. All Peloponnesus 
was wavering toward the Macedonian interest. 
The Phocian army was now under command 
of Phalsecus, who, perceiving the hopelessness 
of the cause, offered to capitulate. Philip 
agreed that he should retire unmolested into 
Southern Greece. The principal towns of 
Phocis were then surrendered to the king. 

The passions of the Thebans against those 
who had so long resisted them could hardly be 
restrained; but Philip insisted that the terms 
should be observed. The general question of 
what should be done with Phocis and her in- 
habitants remained to be settled by a congress 
of the states, which was now convened by 
Philip at Thermopylae. Before this body the 
most cruel demands wer3 made by the extreme 
party of the Amphictyons. The deputies from 
(Eta demanded that all the Phocians should 
be hurled down from the cliffs about Delphi ; 
but Philip was less vindictive than Phcebus, 
and the penalty finally voted by the council, 
though excessive in its severity, was less 
bloody than might have been expected. 

The terms granted were these : The Phocians 
should lose forever their place in the Amphic- 
tyonic council; the three principal cities of 
Phocis should be dismantled, and the remain- 
ing towns destroyed; no hamlet should be 
permitted of more than fifty houses, nor any 
nearer to the next than a furlong ; the heavy 
arms and horses belonging to the people should 
be given up; finally, a tax of sixty talents 
annually should be assessed upon the lands of 
Phocis until all the squandered treasures of 
the Delphic shrine should be replaced. To 
Philip was assigned the duty of enforcmg the 
conditions; and in order that he might the 
more consistently undertake the settlement. 

the two votes hitherto belonging to Phocis in 
the council of the Amphictyons were trans- 
ferred to him, with full membership in the 

It appears that, with the exception of the 
anti-Macedonian party in Athens, nearly all 
the Greeks were satisfied with the conditions 
of peace. The moderation of Philip and the 
general wisdom of the measures which he 
promoted were such as to elicit hearty praises. 
Even Demosthenes, in hb oration. On the 
Orown^ concedes the great popularity of the 
king in the time just succeeding the treaty. 
Diodorus, who, however, was more favorable 
to the Macedonian interest, says: ** Philip, 
after concurring with the Amphictyons in 
their choice for the common welfare of Greece, 
providing means for carrying them into exe- 
cution, and conciliating good will on all sides 
by hb humanity and affability, returned into 
hb kingdom, bearing with him the glory of 
piety, added to the &me of military talents 
and bravery; in possession of a popularity 
which gave him great advantage for the future 
extension of hb power." 

The peace thus establbhed was generally 
accepted as a finality. The smaller states, 
which had long been subject to the domination 
of the stronger, found the authority of Philip 
more tolerable than that of their former mas- 
ters. All of the Peloponnesian states without 
exception favored the- new regime, and in 
Central Greece, only Athens looked askance 
kt the preeminent influence thus conceded to 
the king. 

The prombing heir to the throne of Mace* 
donia was now fourteen years of age. AbiS' 
TOTLE, hb instructor, resided at the court 
Upon him and hb influence over the prince, 
the king bestowed the most anxious attention. 
The philosopher received royal honors at the 
hands of his liberal master. He was loaded 
with favors. Hb birthplace, the town of Sta- 
gira, was rebuilt and beautified by the orders 
of Philip. The monarch, as a farther mark 
of consideration, laid out near Pella a spacious 
and beautifril park, in which were shady walks, 
rustic seats, marble statues, and cool retreats 
in which the Peripatetics gathered to discuss 
the origin of things and the destiny of man. 


At thia time the moet disturbed regioD ad- 
Jaoect to King Philip's dominiona was Thrace. 
la the eaatera part of this country a leader 
named CersobIept«s aroee, and acting under 
an inq)iration from Athens, gathered a large 
force of inaurgeacs. it was found necessary 
w bring a Macedonian army into the country 
oefore the rebellion could be suppressed. The 
work, bowever, was easily accomplished, and 

sickness and death had been acattfired through- 
out Greece ; nor did such reports fail to produce 
the usual resulte. The Athenians seized the 
opportunity to organize a fleet and send it 
against the maritime dependencies of Macedon. 
Marauding expeditions were made along the 
coast, and in deflance of the terms of tbo recent 
treaty, the influence of the Greeks was used 
to induce revolt and disKniions in Philip'r 


the coast districts of Thrace were incorporated 
with Macedonia. 

Soon aA«rwards the king undertook an ex- 
pedition into barbarous Scythia ; but the north- 
em wilds proved to him as they had done to 
Darius, a more formidable foe than a phalanx 
of spears in an open lield. Philip was snow- 
bound in a desolate country where he could 
find no enemies. AAer his army had been 
brought to the borders of starvation he was 
glad with the opening of spring to make his 
way back to his own capital. 

Before his return, however, rumors of his 

kingdom. The Athenian admiral, DiopiUia), 
instigated by the clamors of the assembly, now 
under the lead of Demosthenes, proceeded to 
positive hostility, and took by storm two towns 
belonging to Philip. Those who escaped from 
the assault were dispersed into the Cherao- 
nesus, and the Macedonian envoys who were 
sent to remonstrate against the outr^;e, were 
thrown into prison. In the next place an 
embargo was laid upon all ships sailing into 
Macedonian ports, by which means the grow- 
ing commerce of the kingdom was suddenly 
cut off and destroyed. 



While this business was progressing in the 
North, Demosthenes entered into correspond- 
ence with Persia, with a view to securing the 
cooperation of that country against the grow- 
ing power of Philip. The project was suc- 
cessful to the extent of obtaining from the 
court at Susa a large remittance of money to 
be used by the Athenians according to their 
discretion. By this means the fleets were 
still further strengthened, and the island of 
Eubsea, long alienated from Athens, was won 
back to her old relations. 

Meanwhile Philip returned from his Scyth- 
ian campaign. It is related that as he was 
making his way back to his capital he was 
attacked by a wild people called the Triballi, 
in the passes of the Msesian mountains. So 
sudden and fierce was the onset that for a 
while the Macedonians were well-nigh over- 
whelmed. Nothing but the desperate exer- 
tions of the king and the valor of his soldiery 
saved him from utter rout Philip himself 
was dangerously wounded in the thigh, and 
was about to be taken when the prince Alex- 
ander, rushed to his side and covered him 
with his shield. Victory finally declared for 
the Macedonians. The barbarians were driven 
back wi^h great losses, but the king's army 
also sufiered not a little, and himself was 
lamed for life.^ 

As soon as Philip was himself again he 
undertook the reconquest of those cities which 
had revolted against him. His first movements 
were directed against Perinthus and other 
towns on the Hellespont In this enterprise, 
however, he was, on account of the weakness 
of the Macedonian navy, unable to make 
any headway, and the campaign had to be 
abandoned. This want of success greatly ex- 
hilarated the Athenians, and Demosthenes 
redoubled his exertions to secure favorable 
alliances for Athens, and to induce further de- 
iBCtion among the dependencies of Macedonia. 

^ Philip was greatly embarrassed by his wounded 
limb. He is reported to have been sensitive on the 
score of his lameness. It was on this account that 
Alexander indulged in his famous piece of pleas- 
antry at his father's expense : ** How can you, sir," 
said the prince, "be displeased at an accident 
which <U every step serves to remind you of your 

At thb juncture of affairs the Greek states 
were again thrown into commotion by the 
prospect of war among themselves. The peo- 
ple of Amphissa, seeing in some of the grounds 
sacred to Apollo a fine opportunity of garden- 
ing, set at defiance the old Amphictyonic 
decree and began to honor nature with culti- 
vation. This act raised the cry of sacrilege, 
and another sacred war was imminent; but 
the influence of Philip was so great that he 
was elected president of the Amphictyons and 
was thus brought into a position to mitigate, 
if not prevent, the expected conflict 

Athens, meanwhile, was busy in creating 
a coalition against Philip. Thebes was induced 
to join her. Corinth, though for many years 
standing aloof from the hostile broils in which 
most of the states had been immersed, gave 
her adherence to the anti-Macedonians and 
exhibited an unwonted energy of preparation.* 
Philip, though cognizant of this unfriendly 
business, proceeded in his own way. He con- 
vened the Amphictyons at Thermopylse and 
laid before them the complaints against the 
people of Amphissa. In obedience to the 
order of the council he issued an edict requir- 
ing all the states to furnish a contingent of 
troops for the punishment of the sacrilege of 
tilling Apollo's ground. The Athenians and 
their allies were thus thrown into a most un- 
pleasant dilemma. Either they must answer 
Philip's call and join him in a crusade against 
the Amphissians, or else they must array them- 
selves by the side of those who had profaned 
the national religion. They chose the latter 
course, and actually sent ten thousand merce- 
naries to the aid of the sacrilegious city I It 
was done, not that they loved the defilers of 
Apollo's lands, but dreaded Philip of Macedon. 

The alliance, however, was of no great 
value to the Amphissians. Against them the 
king at once proceeded and they were soon 

^ A happy incident is related of this movement 
on the part of the Corinthians. While they were 
busily engaged in preparing for war, Diogenes, 
who now resided in Corinth, was seen anxiously 
and energetically rolling his tub from one place to 
. another. When inquiry was made of him why he 
did so, he replied that he did not desire to appear 
singular by being the only man in Corinth who 
was not absurdly employed ! 



cmbdued and punished, but with far less sever- 
ity than had been visited upon the obstinate 

As soon as Philip's success had been such 
as to alarm the assembly at Athens that body 
dispatched an embassy to the king to complain 
of his violatum of the treaty 1 As a matter of 
feet, they themselves had violated it from the 
beginning, and he had observed the terms 
with scrupulous fidelity. Still he replied to 
the envoys, and through them to the Athenian 
people, with such severe courtesy as the cir- 
cumstances seemed to warrant His letter 
was as follows: 

"Philip, King of the Macedonians, to the 
Athenian council and people, greeting. What 
your disposition towards me has been from the 
banning, I am not ignorant, nor with what 
earnestness you have endeavored to gain the 
Thessalians, the Thebans, and the rest of the 
Boeotians to your party. But now you find 
them too wise to submit their interests to your 
direction, you change your course and send 
ministers with a herald to me to admonish me 
of the treaty, and demand a truce, having in 
truth been injured by me in nothing. Nev- 
ertheless, I have heard your ambassadors, and 
consent to all your desires; nor shall I take 
any step against you, if, dismissing those who 
advise you ill, you consign them to their de- 
served ignominy. So may you prosper.** 

The last clause of the king's paper, relating 
to the dismissal of the democratic leaders, was 
directed against Demosthenes and his associates. 
These were themselves now the ruling influ- 
ence in the assembly, and Philip's address was 
not therefore likely to be received with favor. 
The passions of the "sovereign multitude" 
were swayed by the very powers which were 
to be renounced and consigned to ignominy. 

Meanwhile the Thebans, after much waver- 
ing between interest and inclination, decided in 
fevor of an Athenian alliance, and as soon as 
the league was effected the assembly of Athens 
dispatched into Boeotia a large force, to oc- 
cupy the frontier towns which W5uld lie first 
in the way of a Macedonian invasion. Philip 
at the head of his forces took possession of the 
town of Elateia, which commanded the pass 
of Thermopylae. While occupying this posi- 

tion he made one further efibrt to secure a 
settlement of their difficulties without the 
shedding of blood ; but his overtures were re- 
garded by the allies as so many symptoms of 
fear. The Macedonian party, on the other 
hand, urged the king's sincerity, as evidenced 
in his previous course; and but for the hot 
appeals which were poured from the popular 
tribunals peace might still have been preserved. 
It was, however, in Thebes, rather than in 
Athens, that symptoms of wavering were most 
discoverable. Demosthenes accordingly re- 
paired to the former city, and poured out the 
fiery torrent of his eloquence to persuade those 
who faltered to stand fast in their resistance 
to the common foe.* 

The allied army of mercenaries now thrown 
into the field consisted of fifteen thousand foot 
and two thousand horse. The Boeotian hop- 
lites consisted of fourteen thousand, while the 
Athenian division comprised nearly twenty 
thousand men. The army of Philip exceeded 
thirty thousand, and though inferior in num- 
bers to the combined forces of the allies was 
greatly superior to them in discipline and or- 

The battle-field on which the destinies of 
Greece were now to be decided was at CniB- 
ROXEA. Here in the summer of B. C. 338 
it was to be determined whether the old organ- 
ization, involving a multitude of petty and 
independent states, should be longer main- 
tained, or whether the expanding kingdom of 
the North should dominate the whole penin- 
sula of Hellas. The issue was really decided 
by the military genius of Philip, against whom 
the allied Greeks could bring no commander 
of equal abilities. The youthful Alexander, 
too, bore a conspicuous part in the contest 
The battle was long and sanguinary. The 
victory inclined to the Macedonians. The de- 
feat of the allied forces was complete and 
overwhelming. Philip, with his usual moder- 
ation, dismissed the prisoners without punish- 
ment The bodies of the dead were sent to 

^ It was in the course of the oration delivered 
on this occasion that Demosthenes swore by Pallas 
Athene that if any one should dare to say that 
peace ought to be made with Philip he would him- 
aelf seize him by the hair and drag him to prison. 



Athens for burial, and the king sent thither 
hb general Antipater and his son Alexander 
to treat with the Athenians on the subject of 
peace. He invited them to renew the compact 
which had recently existed between Greece 
and Macedon. A counter embassy was re- 
turned to the king, and the Greeks were only 
too ready to accept the favorable conditions 
which were offered. 

. As soon as peace was reestablished the at- 
tention of Philip was directed to the king of 
Persia. For some time it had been his policy 
to establish himself at the head of a Hellenic 
confederacy, and then hurl the united forces 
of Greece and Macedonia upon the dominions 
of the Great King, against whom all the people 
of the West cherished so profound an antipa- 
thy. Diodorus, in his account of the course 
pursued by Philip at this juncture, says: ** The 
king, encouraged by his victory at Chseronea, 
by which the most renowned states had been 
checked and confounded, was ambitious of 
becoming the military commander and head 
of the Greek nation. He declared, therefore, 
his intention of carrying war, in the common 
cause of the Greeks, against the Persians. A 
disposition to concur in this purpose and to 
attach themselves to him as their chief per- 
vaded the Greciah people. Communicating 
then with all, individuals as well as states, in 
a manner to conciliate fetvor, he expressed his 
desire of meeting the nation in congress to 
concert measures for the great object in view, 
and such a body was accordingly convened at 
Corinth. This explanation of his intentions 
excited great hopes, and so produced the de- 
sired concurrence that at length the Greeks 
elected him generalissimo of their confederate 
powers. Great preparations for the Persian 
war were put forward, and the proportion of 
troops to be furnished by every state was cal- 
culated and determined." 

The final scene in Philip's eventful and am- 
bitious career was now at hand. The army 
of more than two hundred thousand men, 
raised by the allied states to war against the 
Persians, was destined to be led into Asia by 
another. After his victory at Cbxraiiea the 
monarch returned to his capital, and in B. C. 
336, occupied a brief interval ,with the mar- 

riage of hb daughter to Alexander, king of 
Epirus. A feast was made in honor of the 
occasion. When the banquet was at its height 
and Philip, after the manner of the times, had 
given himself ft'eely to indulgence, a certain 
Pausanias, who harbored a grudge against 
the king on account of a supposed injury, 
plunged a dagger into hb breast and laid him 
lifeless. The assassin immediately fled, but 
before he could make hb escape through the 
city gates he was overtaken and instantly cut 

The causes of thb tragic event, beyond the 
petty resentment which the murderer was 
known to have felt, have never been deter- 
mined. The most plausible theory of the as- 
sassination b that which attributes it to the 
revenge of Oljrmpias, who, in the preceding 
year had been discarded by the king. Philip 
had chosen in her place a maiden named Cle- 
opatra, daughter of Attains, one of hb gen- 
erab. It b said that the conduct of Olympias, 
on hearing of the murder of the king, was 
such as to warrant the suspicion that. she had 
been privy to hb taking off. The sudden de- 
struction of the assassin prevented hb divulg- 
ing hb motives, and it b therefore not known 
whether political influences originating in 
Greece or Persia had any thing to do with 
procuring the crime. 

Philip of Macedon may be fairly ranked as 
the greatest ruler of his time. At the begin- 
ning of hb career he had to battle with lim- 
ited resources to create and consolidate hb 
kingdom. Such was hb success that at the 
close of hb reign — though the end was pre- 
cipitated by sudden violence — the Macedonian 
supremacy was establbhed on a basb not to be 
shaken. . Nor was it more by force and mill- 
tary genius than by the poeaeasion of great 
civil abilities that he gained hb preeminence. 
He was a diplomatist, a thinker, a discemer 
of motives. Hb disposition was more humane 
than the age he lived in. His self-possession 
was remarked by all who came into hb pres- 
ence. Hb power of conversing and hb aflb- 
ble manners made hb company to be sought 
by the learned and polite. The summary 
given by Diodorus respecting Philip's charao> 
ter may be quoted with approval : '* He 



teemed mere ph3r8ical courage and physical 
strength in the field as among the lowest qual- 
ities of a superior officer. He set an almost 
exclusive value on military science as distin- 
guished from personal prowess, and not less on 
the talent of conversing, persuading, and con- 
ciliating those over whom a general might be 

appointed to preside. Upon these qualities he 
founded the only favorable opinion which he 
entertained of himself; for he was wont to 
remark that the merit of success in battle he 
could only share with those under him, whereas 
the victories he gained by argument, affability 
and kindness were all his own." 

Chaf>xer L.— Alexander the Great. 

HEN Philip was assassi- 
nated the prince Alex- 
ander was in his twen- 
tieth year. Doubtless the 
vague suspicion which as- 
sociated him with his tar 
ther's murder was ground- 
less and unjust Even if Olympias was properly 
charged with complicity in the crime, it is 
not likely that Alexander, who was almost 
constantly with his father, and appears to 
have been greatly attached to him, would con- 
nive at his destruction. It is more probable 
that in so far as the assassination had any po- 
litical significance, it was based on a scheme 
to transfer the crown to Amyntas, the son of 
Antiochus, and was therefore in the highest 
degree against the interest of Alexander. Nor 
was it in accord with the character of the 
prince to begin his career with parricide. 

In accordance with custom, the new king 
was conducted to the throne with military 
pomp. He addressed the Macedonian nobles 
who were assembled to witness the ceremony 
in words well calculated to inspire confidence. 
He declared his purpose to rule in accordance 
with the policy adopted by his father, and 
added with great gravity : ** The king's name 
is changed, but the king you shall find re- 
mains the same." As an earnest of his pur- 
pose, he retained his father's officers, both in 
the government and in the army; nor might 
any one find cause to complain on account of 
his own disparagement in the esteem and 
honor of the court. 

It was not to be apprehended, however, 
that a prince of twenty could succeed such a 

ruler as Philip, whose powerful arm had made 
his name a terror to conspirators, without many 
and serious trials. It was to be expected that 
not a few of the turbulent peoples over whom 
the &ther had held sway would try the cour- 
age and tempt the patience of the son. At 
this time, moreover, the influence of Persia 
was constantly felt in the West, particularly 
in the states of Greece. The agents of Darius 
went everywhere to promote the interests of 
their master by creating confusion in the coun- 
sels of his enemies. The purpose of Philip to 
invade Asia was well known at the- court of 
Susa, and the news of that monarch's death 
was received with delight by the Persian king, 
who fondly imagined that the youthful succes- 
sor of the great Macedonian would be unable 
to prosecute his father's ambitious plans. The 
emissaries of Darius understood thoroughly the 
factious and turbulent spirit of the Greeks, and 
the policy pursued was that of fanning the 
slumbering jealousy of the states until it should 
burst into a flame of insurrection. 

The first attention of the new king was di- 
rected to Thessaly. Of those states included 
within the limits of Northern Greece, this was 
the most powerful ally of the Macedonians. 
The agents sent out by Alexander found the 
Thessalians in a loyal disposition, and the 
friendly relations existing between them and 
Philip were easily confirmed. The civil and 
military authority of the state remained in the 
same hands as before. The influence of Thes- 
saly thus became of great importance to Alex* 
ander, who was able to use his ally to good 
advantage in securing the allegiance of the 
other states. 


The Qeit important matter occupying the 
fttteotion of the young king was the meeting 
o{ the Amphictyonic council at Thermopylw. 
It was necessary for Alexaoder to have con- 
ferred oo him his father's seat as president 
of that venerable body. This dignity, however, 
was easily attained at the bands of the Am- 
phic^ons, and Alexander immediately sought 
the still higher honor of being elected general- 
iasiino of all the Greeks. For this purpose a 

flODgreas of the states was called to meet at 
Corinth. When the body was assembled, the 
king proposed to the delegates that the great 
expedition against Persia, which had been cut 
■hort by the death of his father, should now 
be resumed, and that himself should be elected 
to command the combined forces of the 
West. The proposition was readily assented 
to by a majority of the delegates, though not 
without the opposition of the Lacedaemonians, 
who held that they were restrained by an an- 

<nent custom from committing the command 
of their armies to another. 

It appears, withal, from this circumstance, 
that the deliberations of the congress were on- 
trammeled by any fear of the king, each state 
being allowed to exercise the suffrage in its 
own way. Thus was brought to a successful 
conclusion tbe preliminary arrangements by 
which the largest sad most important expedi- 
tion ever undertaken in Greece was intrusted 
to a youth of twenty 

Now it was that the 
ambitions of Alexandei 
found free scope for 
exercise. Preparations 
tftie immediately re- 
sumed for the equipment 
of the anny for the 
grand campaign into 
Asia. It was perhaps 
fortunate for Alexander 
that at this juncture 
difficulties arose which 
fijmished an opportu- 
nity to test his capacities 
and try the mettle of 
his soldiery in a field 
near home. Before the 
expedition could set out 
for Asia Minor, ominous 
clouds gathered around 
his kingdom, and threat- 
ening invasions gathered 
on three sides of the 
realm. On the west the 
Dlyrians revolted and 
resumed their independ- 
ence. On the north the 
Thracians, headed by the warlike tribe of Tti- 
balli, rose in arms; and on the east the mis- 
cellaneous nationalities inhabiting the coasts 
and islands of the .£gean threw off tbe re- 
straints of authority and again betook them- 
selves to marauding and piracy. 

It was this alarming condition of affiiin 
which first struck fire from the daring spirit 
and military genius of the young king. Has- 
tily dividing his forces he despatched PabheniO 
with one division against the Dlyrians, whUe 



&e himself at the head of the other proceeded 
against the freebooters of the coast. With 
extraordinary rapidity he fell upon those who 
had defied his authority and scattered them 
in terror before him. He pursued the fugi- 
tives into the mountains of Hsemus, and gave 
them no rest even in the rocky defiles where 
they had sought refuge. No campaign con- 
ducted by Philip had exhibited such audacity 
or been crowned with such speedy success. 

Turning from his expedition to the coast, 
Alexander next made his way into Thrace. 
Here the enemy had seized the tops of the 
mountains, and having fixed their war-chariots 
in front of their lines so as to form a rampart 
against the phalanx, they regarded their po- 
sition as impregnable. It was proposed, more- 
over, should the Macedonians attempt to 
scale the heights, to hurl down the chariots in 
their faces. But Alexander, nothing daunted, 
ordered his men to ascend the acclivity, and 
to open their ranks for the passage of any en- 
gines that might be sent down against them. 
It is said by Arrian that not a single Mace- 
donian was killed in the charge. The heights 
were carried and the barbarians scattered to 
the winds. Fifteen hundred of their dead, 
together with all the women and spoils of the 
battle, were left on the field. 

The king next turned his attention to the 
Triballi whom he followed northward of 
Hsemus into the great forests which stretch 
out on the right bank of the Danube. Ailer 
hunting the barbarians out of the woods, he 
assaulted them and their king, Syrmus, on 
the island of Pence, in the river Ister; but 
for once his audacity was overdone. The 
place proved impregnable, and he was obliged 
to desist from the attack. The Triballi, how- 
ever, were glad to escape with their lives, and 
made no further attempt to disturb the peace 
of the kingdom. 

Alexander next crossed the Danube, and 
made a successful campaign against the Getae. 
These people were less warlike than the Tri- 
balli, and could ofier no successful resistance 
to the progress of the Macedonians. The 
whole country was speedily overrun ; the 
capital was destroyed and the tribes subdued. 
Returning to the south bank of the river, the 

king was met by a humble embaasy horn 
Syrmus, who begged that he and hb people 
might have peace. Likewise came envoys 
from the Celts dwelling on the Ionian bay. 
They too, though representing a haughty and 
warlike race, sought the favor of Alexander, 
and were received as friends and allies.^ 

Alexander next directed his course against 
the revolted Blyrians. Marching with great 
rapidity into their country, he penetrated to 
the capital, Pellion, which he seized before 
the insurgents were well aroused to a sense of 
their danger. The Illyrians, however, and 
the Taulantians, who had joined them, trusted 
rather to the defensible position which they 
had chosen among the hills than to the risks 
of' a battle. They therefore waited to be at- 
tacked, and it was some time before Alexan- 
der could bring them to an engagement. At 
last, however, he assaulted them in their po* 
sition, and they were quickly dispersed. The 
leaders of the revolt thereupon made over- 
tures for peace, which were readily accepted 
by the king. News had already been carried 
to him of a troublous state of affairs in 
Greece, whereat Alexander was so greatly 
disturbed that he speedily withdrew from 
Ulyria and returned to Macedon. 

After the death of Philip, the anti-Mace- 
donian party in the Greek states became more 
active than ever. Especially were the radical 
energies of Demosthenes vehemently directed 
against the young king of the North. Every 
motive which envy and revenge could suggest 
was busily and persistently paraded to incite 
insurrection among the southern dependencies 
of Macedonia. Thebes took fire. This state, 
after the battle of Chseronea, had been reduced 
to a condition of vassalage. The people, 
naturally proud and headstrong, chafed under 
the domination of Macedonia, and, Grreek- 
like, were ready at the first opportunity to 
break into revolt. It was in anticipation of 
such an emergency that in the very year of 

*It is related that, in the interview of Alexan- 
der with the Celtic ambassfldorA, he inquiiod 
what might be the cause of their alarm, expectinji 
the flattering answer that they dreaded his name. 
What, therefore, was his chagrin on being told 
that the thing which the Celts most feared was 
that the tky might JdU on their hecuU and bury Uiemt 




Alexander's aoeeflsion a garrison had been, by 
the order of the Amphictyons, established in 
the Theban citadel. The two commanders of 
this body of guards were Amyntas and Timo- 
laus. The first was a Theban and the second 
a Macedonian. Both, believing in the peace- 
able disposition of the citizens, took up their 
quarters in the town instead of the citadel. 
Meanwhile a sedition was fomented in Athens, 
and certain Theban exiles residing there were 
instigated to return to their own city and 
head an insurrection. .Accordingly, in the 
dead of night, Amyntas and Timolaiis were 
beset in their quarters and killed. Heralds 
then ran through the town, proclaiming that 
Alexander was dead, and urging the citizens 
to attack and destroy the Macedonian garrison. 

Hearing of this condition of affairs, Alex- 
ander came down with all haste from the 
North, and marched into Boeotia. Before the 
Thebans could prepare resistance, the king 
was upon them. They were incredulous, and 
refused to believe that he who but a few days 
before had been proclaimed dead in the moun- 
tains of Ulyria was actually at their doors 
with a Macedonian phalanx. Thinking that 
the advance was some company of marauders, 
they sent out a body of cavalry and peltasts 
to confront them. Alexander, acting with 
great moderation, made proclamation that the 
infatuated multitude should cease from their 
rash hostility and return to their allegiance. 
When the demagogues who had control of the 
city would not hear to the proposed settle- 
ment, the kmg advanced his army to the city 
gates, and stood ready for action. For it was 
believed that the Macedonian party in Thebes 
would presently assert itself, and that the 
storming of the town would thus be avoided. 

But while matters stood in this attitude a 
party of the besiegers, under command of 
Perdiccas, being close to the city wall, discov- 
ered the means of scaling the rampart, and, 
without waiting for orders, began an assault. 
They fought their way into the heart of the 
city, but the Thebans rallied in great num- 
bers and the assailants were driven back. 
Retreating through the gates, the Macedonians 
were pursued by the rash throng of citizen 
soldiers, who recklessly pressed on until they 

struck the phalanx, which Alexander had 
drawn up to resist them. Against this im- 
movable wall the Thebans dashed themselves, 
and were hurled back in confusion. A battle 
was now fiEtiriy on. The Macedonians followed 
the insurgents into the city. 

The besieged garrison now poured out of 
the citadel, and the discomfiture of the The- 
bans was soon complete. Great numbers were 
slaughtered in the streets. The auxiliaries in 
Alexander's army, burning with the recollec- 
tion of wrongs which they had suffered at the 
hands of the Thebans in the times of Pelopi- 
das, gave free rein to their passions, and made 
an indiscriminate butchery of the inhabitants. 
Nor did the violence of the victors cease with 
the bloody tragedy by which the town was 
taken. A congress of the confederate states 
was presently convened, and decrees of relent- 
less barbarity were passed against Thebes and 
her people. It was solemnly resolved that the 
Theban name should be blotted out ; that the 
city should be destroyed ; that the women and 
children should be sold into slavery ; that the 
territory should be parceled out to the allies 
and to those of the natives who had main- 
tained their allegiance to Macedonia; and 
that the citadel should be held by a garrison 
in the Macedonian interest. 

The character of Alexander was illustrated 
in the enforcement of the act of the congress. 
Much of the severity of the edict was abated. 
Especially where the interests of literature 
and art were concerned did the king act the 
magnanimous part. The house of the poet 
Pindar was not demolished, and even his rela- 
tives were spared from persecution. In other 
respects the decree was enforced, and Thebes 
was extinguished. Six thousand of her peo- 
ple had perished in battle, and thirty thou- 
sand were sold into slavery. It is said that 
the mind of Alexander was haunted not a 
little with the recollection of these atrocities 
perpetrated against the Thebans, and that he 
attempted, as far as lay^ in his power, to make 
amends by the bestowal of favors upon those 
who survived the destruction of the state. 

Great was the alarm at Athens when it 
was known that Thebes had been taken and 
destroyed. It was confidently expected that 



Alezaoder, well kaowing that the Theban re- 
volt had been instigated by the Athenians, 
would at OQce proceed to inflict on them the 
puniehmeDt which they had provoked. An 
aasembly was immediatelj called in the terri- 
fied city, and au embassy was dispatched to 
the king congratulating him on hix sq/e return 
from lUyria and his nteeeat m ext^miruiHng Vie 
Thebana ! So great was the difference in their 
feelings towards Alexander dead and Alex- 
ander living! The king made answer to the 
embassy, accepting their compliment ; bnt at 

tors, and prominng themselves to try aod 
punish their leaders for the seditious counsel 
which they had beeu in the habit of giving. 
To this Alexander acceded, but made it a con- 
dition that Gharidemus, who had acted as a 
Greek spy at the court of Philip, should be 
bani^ed from the country. The king indeed 
was anxious at as early a date as possible to 
bnng all Greece to a state of quiet to the end 
that he might enter upon the prosecution of 
those lai^r plans which he had inherited from 
his father. 


the same time he sent a letter to the Athe- 
nians telling them that Uieir friendly feelings 
would be reciprocated on condition of the sur- 
render by them to him of ten of their leaders, 
whom he named. The Ibt included Demos- 
thenes, Lycurgus, Hype rides, Polyeuctus, 
Charites, Charidemus, Ephialtes, Diolemua, 
and Meroeles. The city was thrown into great 
confusion by the demand. It is said that De- 
mosthenes, being in terror, gave Demadca five 
talents to intercede for him with Alexander. 
The Athenians sent back another embassy, 
begging the king's indulgence for their ora- 

Returning to his own capital Alexander 
diligently renewed his preparations for the 
invasion of Aua. In this work he spent the 
winter of B. C. 335-334, and with the open- 
ing of spring found himself in readiness to 
proceed with his campaign. His army con- 
sisted of but thirty-five thousand men, hut 
these were thoroughly drilled and hardened 
by the severe discipline of exposure and war. 
They were mostly veterans who, under Philip, 
had learned to overcome all obstacles, and 
who now, under Philip's son, had come to 
share his courage and ambitions. 



Tlie Macedonian advance began from Pella 
to Sestos on the Hellespont. Here, at the 
tomb of Protesilaiis Alexander offered sacrifices. 
Then flinging himself into a galley he bade 
adieu to the shores of Europe, and was rowed to 
the opposite coast. Arriving in Asia, he first 
visited the site of ancient Troy. Thoroughly 
imbued with the spirit of the JQiad, he paused 
to make offerings in the temple of Minerva, 
and from this shrine he obtained a suit of 
armor which tradition said had been preserved 
from the time of the Trojan war. In the 
place of this he dedicated to the goddess one 
of his own coats-of-mail, which was hung up 
in the temple. 

Meanwhile, the Persian king appeared to 
take no alarm on account of the Macedonian 
lion who had entered his dominions at a 
bound. The crossing of the Hellespont had 
been made without opposition, though the 
Persian fleet far outnumbered any armament 
that Alexrnder could have brought against it 
ISo general preparations had been made by the 
court of Susa to resist the impending inva- 
sion. The defense of the western provinces 
had been left to their respective satraps, while 
the Greek cities on the coast had been in- 
trusted to the guardianship of the Rhodian 
general, Memnon. The carelessness of Da- 
rius and his officers in permitting the actual 
invasion to begin without taking measures 
necessary to repel it was little less than a 
blind infatuation of security for which the 
Persian Empire was presently to pay a ruin- 
ous price. 

Alexander greatly desired to try the mettle 
of the Persians, rather than of the Greeks 
inhabiting the Ionian cities. He also had a 
respect for the military abilities of Memnon, 
but none at all for the prowess of the average 
aatrap. He. therefore, made his way first 
along the shores of the Propontis in a north- 
easterly direction, and thus came into the 
province of Lower Phrygia, of which Arsites 
was the governor. To him Memnon sent a 
most excellent piece of advice to the effect 
that the satrap should lay waste the coun- 
try in advance of Alexander, and avoid a 
battle. But Arsites had an army of more 

than forty thousand men, and was himself 
N. — Vol. I — 39 

not devoid of courage. He therefore an« 
swered that not a house should be burned, 
nor an article of property be destroyed within 
the limits of his satrapy. This, of course^ 
meant battle, and the day was at hand. 

For delay was not in Alexander's natura 
He pressed forward rapidly to the river Grah^ 
icus, and came upon the stream near the town 
of Zelia. On the opposite bank the. Persian 
army was already encamped; for Arsites, 
knowing the route of Alexander, had taken 
advantage of the stream to oppose his passage. 
When Alexander reached the bank he was 
for giving immediate battle ; but at this junc- 
ture the veteran Parmenio, who knew better 
than the impetuous young king the hazards 
of war, advised his master not to attempt the 
crossing of the stream in the face of such an 
enemy. But the king was not to be foiled in 
his purpose. With a vision more far-reaching 
than that of Parmenio, he saw that immedi- 
ate and victorious battle was the thing now 
needed to fire the spirits of the Macedonians, 
and to strike terror into the foe. To his vet" 
eran general's admonition he therefore re- 
plied: "Your reflections are just and forci- 
ble ; but would it not be a mighty disgrace to 
us, who so easily passed, the Hellespont, to be 
stopped here by a contemptible brook? It 
would, indeed, be a lasting reflection on the 
glory of the Macedonians as well as on the 
personal bravery of their commander; and 
besides, the Persians would forthwith consider 
themselves our equals in war, did we not in 
this first contest with them achieve something 
to justify the terror which attaches to our 

So it was determined to give battle with- 
out delay. Parmenio was appointed to the 
left wing; Philotas, to the right. Here also 
Alexander himself took his station. The 
preparations made by the Macedonians were all 
in plain view of the Persians on the opposite 
bank. Discovering, from the armor and dec- 
orations of Alexander's principal officers, in 
what part of the lines the king was to com- 
mand, the Persians drew up their best cohorts 
opposite where the great Macedonian must 
cross the river. This movement on the part 
of the enemy was altogether agreeable to 



Alexander, who was complimented by this dis- 
position of the Persian forces. He saw more- 
over that if he should be able to break that 
part of the enemy's line which had been 
strengthened to resist him personally, the rest 
would, in all probability, after the manner of 
Asiatics, fall into confusion and fly from the 
field. He accordingly determined to charge 
through the river and into the face of the 
foe. The first body consisting of the peltasts 
and cavalry rushed through the stream and 
up the opposite banks. Here they were met 
by the Persians in superior numbers and after 
a brief struggle were driven back. The time 
thus gained, however, enabled Alexander to 
cross with the main division of heavy-armed 

The fight now began in earnest. For some 
time it seemed doubtf 1 whether the Macedo- 
nians could force the enemy from their posi- 
tion. . Alexander exhibited the greatest per^ 
sonal bravery. He was in the thickest of the 
fight and when his lance was broken quickly 
supplied its place with another. He charged 
with the greatest impetuosity and with his 
own hand killed the commander of the Per- 
sian cavalry. At one time he was surrounded 
by the enemy and beaten down, and was 
barely rescued by some courageous friends. 
At length the Persian cavalry broke and fled 

In the mean time Parmenio crossed with 
the left wing, and had with greater ease gained 
a footing on the opposite bank. The opposing 
Persian lines had here been weakened to 
strengthen their left, opposed to Alexander. 
It thus happened that Parmenio had a less 
desperate struggle for victory than did Alex- 
ander. The Persians were scattered from all 
parts of the field, and the Greek mercenaries 
under Omares were soon borne down by the 
phalanx, and either killed or captured. Of 
the Persians fully ten thousand were slain in 
battle. Spithridates and Mithrobazanes, gov- 
ernors of Lydia and Cappadocia, Mithrides, a 
son-in-law of Darius, Phamaces, the queen's 
brother, Omares, general of the mercenary 
Greeks, and many other nobles and distin- 
guished men, were among the slain. It is 
stated the loss on the side of the Macedo- 

nians amounted to no more than one hundred 
and twenty.* 

Alexander at once gathered the spoils of 
the battle-field and sent a portion to each of 
the states represented in the expedition. The 
present in each case was sent with the request 
that the spoils should be devoted as a memo- 
rial of the joint success of the Macedonians 
and Greeks against the enemy of both. The 
factious Athenians, who had as a matter of 
fact so many times broken faith both with the 
king and his father, were specially remem^ 
bered in the distribution of trophies. Three 
hundred suits of complete armor, stripped 
from the bodies of the Persian dead, were 
sent to Athens to be hung up in the temple 
of Pallas Athene ; and to accompany this gift 
the avenger of Europe on Asia dictated the 
following inscription : "Alexander, son op 
Philip, and thi Greeks, excepting thk 
Lacedemonians, offer these, taken from 
the barbarians of asia." 

The i attle of the Granicus ruade more 
easy the future progress of the conqueror. 
The terror of his name preceded him, and 
town'aft;er town fell into his power. Resis- 
tance almost ceased, insomuch that where the 
king had expected hard conflicts he met no 
opposition. Dascylium, the Bithynian capital, 
threw open her gates to Parmenio. Sardis, 
the rich metropolis of Lydia, strong both by 
nature and military preparation, was surren- 
dered with obsequious readiness. The satrap, 
Mithranes, accompanied by the dignitaries 
of the city, went out and met Alexander 
seven miles beyond the gates, and humbly 
implored his considerate mercy for themselves 
and their subjects. 

From Sardis Alexander moved forward 
to Ephesus and Miletus. In both of these 
cities the strife of the Persian and Macedo- 

^ It is said that Alexander was deeply affected 
by the loss of those slain in his first battle. 
Twenty-five of the royal guards, mostly young men 
of fiery spirit like himself, fell in the conflict near 
the person of their king. He ordered statues ot 
the valiant soldiers to be cast by Lycippus and 
placed in the city of Dium, Macedonia. He also 
gave to the parents and other relatives of those 
who fell at the Granicus the freedom of their 
respective cities; and the children of his dead 
soldiers were forever exempted from taxation. 



oian Actions had ruen to Buch a height as to 
portend masBacre and deatruction. Never was 
the prudence of Alexander displayed to a 
better advantage than in the settlement of 
these interna) broils. Assuming the office of 
mediator, be behaved with such moderation 
and liberality as to secure the confidence even 
of the democracy. He established and con- 
firmed the goveroment of the cities in a man- 
Iter to little selfish ae to substitute good order 

selfish — or remitting the tax altogether — which 
would have been unwise — required a continu- 
ation of payment, and directed that the whole 
revenue should be used in restoring the tem- 
ple of Diana — a measure well calculated to 
stimulate the patriotism and fiatter the pride 
of the Ephesians. 

Of still great«r importance, alike to Alex* 
ander and the Feraiau king, was the city of 
Miletus. Of all the seaports beloDgiug tc 

for anarchy and prosperity for destructive 
tormoil. At Ephesua he greatly heightened 
his popularity by a politic measure respecting 
the tribute. Hitherto the city had been bur- 
deaed with a heavy annual tax, which went 
to the satrap of the province. At the times 
when Ephesus was subject to Athens and 
Sparta, the tribute had been paid to them. 
So that to the Ephesians the temporary lib- 
erty which they gained by the Ionian revolt 
amounted merely to a chimge of masters. 
Alexander, however, instead of exacting the 
tribute for his own — which would have been 

Persia on the .£gean, this was Uie moet valu- 
able and necessary. For Darius already had 
a large armament in the western seas, and the 
free communication of the conqueror with his 
own country was thus endaugcred. To gain 
possessioD of Miletus was, therefore, a matter 
of prime importance to Alexander, and to 
lose it a serious disaster to the king of Perda. 
As soon as the Macedonian could settle affairs 
in EphesuB, he accordingly set out for Miletus. 
On his arrival he at once began a siege; for 
the Milesians were not so ready to surrender 
tlieir city as had been the citizens of Bardia. 



It required, however, but a short time for the 
walls to be knocked down by the battering* 
rams and the garrison dispersed. Such was 
the £Eune of invincibility which already at- 
tached to the name of Alexander that the 
Persian fleet, lying in the harbor of Miletus, 
made no effort to save the city from falling. 
Thus was Miletus added to the trophies of 

In the mean time, Memnon had given 
special attention to the defenses of Halicar- 
nassus, and the garrison was thoroughly 
drilled in anticipation of an attack. On ar- 
riving before the city, Alexander found that 
the walls were surrounded with a ditch thirty 
cubits in width and fif^n cubits deep. It 
was necessary that this should be filled up be- 
fore the rams could be brought to bear on the 
ramparts. The garrison was vigilant, and 
from the walls discharged every species of 
missile upon the assailants. But the siege was 
pressed with vigor, and Memnon was soon 
brought to such straits that he found it neces- 
sary to withdraw by night. In doing so he 
set fire to his enginery to prevent it from 
falling into the hands of Alexander. By this 
means a portion of the city was burned. The 
king took possession without further resistance, 
and with his usuaP moderation quieted the 
alarm of the people. The citadel was still 
held by a portion of the forces of Memnon. 
but Alexander, not deeming it prudent to 
consume time in the reduction of the place, 
left Ptolemy with a body of three thousand 
men to keep the province in subjection, and 
Appointed the princess Ada, who had put her- 
self under his protection, to be regent of 
Caria while he should prosecute his campaign. 

The next point to which the conqueror 
directed his march was the city of Tralles. 
This place was speedily reduced, and the ex- 
pedition was then directed into Phrygia. The 
winter was now at hand, and according to all 
precedent military operations must cease. 
Not so, however, with Alexander, who in- 
formed his army of his intention to continue 
the campaign eastward, so that if Darius 
should accept the challenge he might meet 
him in the foUowing spring on the confines of 
8yriR„ To quiet all discontent, however, he 

gave free permission to all who had been re- 
cently jnarried to return to their wives and 
spend the winter months in Macedonia. Three 
of his generals — Ptolemy, Cosnus, and Me- 
leager — ^were of thb number, and to them he 
gave the command of the division which was 
to return home. He then ordered Parmenio 
to take his station at Bardis, so as to preserve 
an uninterrupted line of communication be- 
tween Macedonia and the army. 

With the remainder of his forces Alexander 
now set out through Lycia and Pamphylia. 
His object was by the reduction of all the 
seaport towns to make the Persian fleet use- 
less; for without friendly harbors a squadron 
in these waters could do no harm. In hiM 
progress through the coast provinces the foui 
principal cities — ^Telmissus, Pinara, Xanthus, 
and Patara — made voluntary submission, and 
more than thirty of the smaller towns sent 
embassies and made their peace with the con- 
queror. PhaseUs, the capital of Lower Lycia, 
tendered him by the hands of her ambassadors 
a golden crown, and solicited his fiiendship 
and protection. All the province was brought 
into submission, a^d particularly was a certain 
fortress, held by the barbarous Pisidians, re- 
duced by assault and the garrison expelled 
from the country. 

Meanwhile the enemies of the king, unable 
to oppose him in the field, undertook to secure 
his destruction by treachery. The scheme 
was worthy of its authors. A certain son of 
the Macedonian prince, Aeropus, also named 
Alexander, whom the great Alexander on his 
accession to the throne had admitted to his 
friendship, was now made the tool of a con- 
spiracy by which the king was to be put out 
of the way. It will be remembered that 
Amyntas, who was himself a claimant to the 
throne, had fled to the Persian court, from 
which great hot-bed of treachery he became 
an active member of the plot. He sent a cer- 
tain Asisines into Phrygia as a pretended 
messenger to the satrap of that province, but 
really as a bearer of dispatches to the spuri- 
ous Alexander. The latter was advised that 
if he would procure the murder of the king 
he should himself have the throne of Mace- 
donia under the protection and favor of Perria. 



But the vigilant Parmenio caught the me»- 
tenger and sent him to Alexander, to whom 
he confessed the whole treasonable business. 
The other Alexander was at that time serving 
as an officer in Parmenio's army. He was at 
once seized and imprisoned, and the whole 
scheme ended in a miserable abortion. 

Alexander then resumed hb march east- 
ward along the sea-coast. It was in this part 
of his course that the first of many omens 
was noticed by the army, and ascribed to the 
will and favor of the gods. At a certain part 
of the Pamphylian coast one of the spurs of 
the Taurus juts into the sea so as to prevent 
a passage along the beach. The king's pro- 
gress was thus suddenly hindered ; but as he 
approached the obstacle the wind, which had 
for many days blown from the south and 
driven the surf high against the rocks, turned 
about as if by magic, and, blowing from the 
north, carried the tide far down the beach, 
leaving a broad space of sand exposed, over 
which the army passed in safety. Thus for 
the son of Philip was established the prece- 
dent of the favor of the ruling deities — a 
circumstance of which the king was. by no 
means too modest to avail himself. It became 
a part of his policy to encourage the belief 
that he was under the guidance and protec- 
tion of heaven. 

In the hilly country, on the eastern con- 
fines of Lycia, dwelt the barbarous tribe of 
Marmarians. They were a race of robbers. 
Not daring to oppose the progress of the 
Macedonians, they waited until the army had 
passed by, and then falling upon the baggage 
and cattle-train, succeeded in securing a large 
amount of booty. With this they fled to 
Marmara, their principal town, a place almost 
impregnable from the nature of the surround- 
ings. But Alexander quickly turned about, 
pursued the robbers to their den, brought up 
his engines, and began to batter the walls. 
The barbarians, seeing that they were ginned 
in their own trap, held a council, and adopted 
the horrible expedient of murdering their 
women and children, burning the town, and 
escaping who could through the Macedonian 
lines. A great feast was accordingly made, 
and after all had well eaten the work of de- 

struction began. Human nature revolted, 
however, in the midst of the massacre, and 
six hundred of the young men of the tribe 
refused to be the butchers of their mothers 
and sisters. But the town was fired, and the 
rest of the program was carried out to the 
extent that most of the robbers broke through 
and escaped to the hills. Their experience 
had been sufficient to take away all desire of 
further depredations. 

The next point toward which the expedi- 
tion was (Urected was the town of Perga, in 
Pamphylia. Here there was no disposition 
on the part of the authorities to resist or 
even resent the coming of Alexander. While 
marching thither the king was met by ambas- 
sadors from the city of Aspendus, who came 
to tender their submission and to obtain fin- 
vorable terms of peace. The Macedonian met 
them in his usual temper of moderation. He 
conceded to them the conduct of their own 
affiurs. No garrison should be established in 
their city. The annual tribute — payable in 
horses — ^hitherto assessed by the king of Per- 
sia, should now be sent to Alexander. In 
addition to this, a contribution of fifty talents 
should be made by the city. On these condi- 
tions the people of Aspendus should in no 
wise be dbturbed. The terms were readily 
agreed to by the commissioners ; but on their 
return home there had been a revulsion 
among the citizens, and the whole settlement 
was rejected. The king was thus obliged, as 
soon as Perga and Sida had made their sub- 
mission, to set out against Aspendus. The 
city was at once invested, and the inhabi- 
tants soon came to their senses. They now 
desired to capitulate on the conditions previ- 
ously ofiered, but the Macedonian was no( 
so easy a master. He exacted double the 
amount of the contribution which he had 
first named, assessed a yearly tribute, and 
compelled the Aspendians to accept a gov- 
ernor to be named by himself. 

No people of the West received the news 
of Alexander's successes with so much dis- 
pleasure as did the Lacedsemonians. They 
alone had stood aloof from the confederacy 
of which Alexander was generalissimo. They 
alone had not been remembered, or remem- 



bered in a disparaging way, in the sending 
home by the conqueror of trophies from his 
battles. In his presents and messages to the 
Greeks it was his habit to add the clause, '* ex- 
cepting the Lacedcemanians" Agis, the Spartan 
idng, now sought to neutralize these indigni- 
ties by fomenting discord among the Grecian 
states to the end that Alexander might be 
obliged to abandon his far-reaching plans for 
the settlement of petty rebellions at home. 
In this work Memnon, the Bhodian, was an 
able coadjutor, while in the distance stood the 
Persian monarch ready and eager always to 
famish both the means and the motives of 
distraction to the fearless prince who had in- 
vaded his dominions. 

In furtherance of his plans the Lace- 
dnmonian king canvassed the republican 
states of Peloponnesus, and induced several 
of them to join him in inviting Darius to 
send a portion of his amy to occupy South- 
em Greece. At the same time Memnon, who 
now had command of the Persian fleet, was 
urged to assume the aggressive in the .£gean. 
Thus was it planned to compel the withdrawal 
of Alexander from the East. The king of 
Persia, however, not fully confident that the 
Macedonian could be frightened from his 
purpose by a noise behind him, began to 
gather armies and prepare all needed means 
^f defense. 

The approach of spring, B. C. 333, found 
Alexander in Pamphylia. Gathering infor- 
mation of the measures adopted by his ene- 
mies to compass his destruction, he determined 
to retire to G^rdium, the capital of Lower 
Phrygia, and make that place a rendezvous 
for the various divisions of his army. The 
time had come for the return of those who, 
under Ptolemy and Meleager, had spent the 
winter in Macedonia. With them large reen- 
forcements were expected to arrive. After 
the consolidation of his forces the king would 
determine the plan of the year's campaign. 

In his way from the Lycian coasts to 
Phrygia, Alexander had to cross the ridges of 
Taurus. In doing so he encountered several 
warlike tribes, who attacked him with fury, 
only to be dispersed. The proper pursuit and 
punishment of these half-savage bands was, 

however, quite impossible in such a region ; for 
the mountain fastnesses gave them immuni^. 
The city of Cekense, the metropolis of Phrygia, 
opened her gates to receive the new maa* 
ter instead of the old. What was it to the 
inhabitants of these towns of Asia Minor 
whether they should pay tribute to Darius or 
to the son of Philip? Only this — ^that the 
son of Philip was the more generous rulei; 
All Phrygia, after the surrender of the city, 
submitted to the conqueror, and readily ac- 
cepted the provisions which he made for the 
future management of the province. 

Before reaching Gordium, the king re- 
ceived intelligence of the successes of Memnon 
in the ^gean. The island of Chios had 
been taken by the Persian fleet. All of Les- 
bos except Mitylene had been reduced, and 
that city was closely invested. It was the 
purpose of. Memnon, as soon as the siege 
could be brought to a successful concluaon, 
to make his way to the Hellespont, fall upon 
the coast of Macedonia, and compel the re- 
turn of Alexander for the defense of hb own 
dominions. Nor was it likely that Antipater, 
who had been left by the king at Pella to 
serve as regent during hb absence, could be 
able to raise a sufficient armament to beat 
back the invaders irom hb coasts. The sita- 
ation was not without its dangers; but before 
the crisb could be reached in which Alexan- 
der would be obliged to decide between aban- 
doning hb own territories to invasion or 
giving up hb cherished and inherited ambi- 
tion of conquering Persia, he was relieved of 
all anxiety by the death of Memnon. The 
loss of that able commander was a severe 
blow to Persian hopes in the West The fleet 
could make no further progress, and was 
presently dbbanded. The ^gean was re- 
lieved of Persian domination, and the schemes 
of the anti-Macedonian party in Southern 
Greece were brought to naught. A reaction 
set in in Alexander's favor, and from nearly 
all the states of continental Greece reenforce- 
ments went forward to join him in Asia. It 
was seen, moreover, that contingents of troops 
began to move from the Perso-Grecian towns 
in Ionia and elsewhere to swell the forces of 
Darius in the East; from which it was die- 



cemed that the Great King had abandoned 
the idea of distracting Alexander from his 
purpose, and had resolved to meet him in 
battle. Than this nothing could have been 
more grateful to the feelings of the conqueror. 

So, after a brief stay at Cekenae, the king 
continued his course to Gordium. Here oc- 
curred that &mous incident to omit which 
were a grave crime against the cherished 
traditions of the human race. It is the 
story of the undoing of the Gordian Knot. 
One of the legendary kings of Phrygia was 
Gordius, who, when as a peasant plowing in 
the field, was favored with the descent of 
the bird of Jove, alighting on the yoke of 
his oxen. There the eagle sat until the even- 
tide. Clearly this presaged his own and the 
greatness of his house. The soothsayers of 
Telmessus interpreted the omen, and a pro- 
phetess became his wife. Of this union was 
bom the child Midas, who, when grown to 
manhood and the state was greatly disturbed 
with civil commotions, rode with his father 
and mother in a car into the city. 

Meanwhile an oracle had said that the king 
whom the people sought should be brought to 
them in a car. Accordingly Midas was hailed 
as king by the shouting populace. He there- 
upon took off the yoke of his oxen, and 
dedicating it and his chariot to Zeus, fastened 
them with cords made of the cornel tree to 
the shrine in the acropolis of Gordium. The 
cord was twisted and fastened in so artful a 
way that the ends were undiscoverable ; and 
the oracle declared that the fates had decreed 
the empire of the world to him who should 
untie the knot. Albeit, here was an oppor- 
tunity which Alexander must not let pass 
unimproved. On arriving at the city he was 
shown into the temple, and there beheld the 
fateful relics, secured, as of old, by their fas- 
tenings. As to how he succeeded in loosing ' 
the knot, there are two traditions — the one 
reciting that he drew out the pin which fas- 
tened the yoke to the beam and thus detached 
the yoke itself, while the other says that he 
severed the knot with his sword. 

A matter of much more historical impor- 
tance was the arrival at Gordium of an Athe- 
nian embassy. The commissioners came to 

request that Alexander would liberate those 
citizens of Athens whom he had taken wi 
prisoners on the banks of the Granicus, fight- 
ing for the Persian king. These, with two 
thousand others, were still detained in Mace- 
donia, and their countrymen had undertaken 
to procure their release. The king listened 
attentively to what the envoys had to say, 
but declined to grant their request. He told 
the embassy, however, to inform their coun- 
trymen of his kindly feelings towards the 
Athenians, and of his purpose, so soon as the 
Persian war could be brought to a successful 
issue, to set their fellow-citizens at liberty. 

In the mean time, Darius had completed 
the organization of his army, and was already 
on his march to the West. Hi'^ intention was 
to cross the Great Desert and attack Alexan- 
der before the latter could pass the confines 
of Asia Minor. It was equally important for 
the Macedonian to complete the conquest of 
the lesser Asia, and to secure the mountain- 
passes on its eastern borders before the coming 
of the Persian avalanche. At this time there 
remained three satrapies unconquered : Cap* 
padocia, Paphlagonia, and Cilicia. It was of 
the utmost importance to Alexander to expe- 
dite the conquest of these provinces. He ac- 
cordingly hurried in the direction of Paphla- 
gonia, but before entering the satrapy he had 
the good fortune to receive therefrom a friendly 
embassy, proffering the submission of that im- 
portant country. 

Thus relieved from the necessity of a 
conquest, he hastened into Cappadocia, and 
there too was received without resistance. 
Having appointed Macedonian governors over 
these two leading provinces, and taken 
their pledge of allegiance to himself as gen- 
eralissimo of the Greeks, he turned into 
Cilicia. But in attempting to make his way 
thither through a mountain-pass called the 
Gate of Taurus, he was suddenly confronted 
by the Persians, who had preoccupied the de- 
files to prevent his passage. Such, however, 
was the terror of the conqueror's name that 
the enemy did not, even in their advantageous 
position, dare to give him battle. On the 
contrary, they abandoned the pass and fied. 
Alexander then pressed on to Tarsus, the 



Cilician capital. Arsanes, the governor, hastily 
decamped with the garrison, and fled to Da- 
rius. The city authorities thereupon opened 
the gates, and Alexander was admitted with- 
out opposition. It was the last act in the 
conquest of Asia Minor. In all the rich and 
beautiful regions of the western division of 
the Persian Empire, not a foot of territory 
remained to Darius. 

The exertions and anxieties of the ambi- 
tious young king now began to tell upon his 
constitution. In the long marches from Cap- 
padocia into Cilicia, he had sufiered the ex- 
tremes of fatigue. It is likely, moreover, 
that some of the districts through which he 
passed were miasmatic, and that some of the 
towns were 'nfected with contagion. Soon 
after his capture of Tarsus, Alexander was 
attacked with a fever which came near ending 
his life. The severity of his illness was 
heightened by his own indiscretion. Just be- 
fore he was prostrated, oppressed with fiitigue 
and the summer heat, he plunged into the 
river Cydnus, noted for the icy coldness of 
its waters, and amused himself as a swimmer. 
On coming forth he was presently prostrated, 
and rapidly brought so low that his life was 
despaired of by all except Philip, the Acar- 
nanian, his favorite physician. The latter 
continued to attend and encourage his master. 
While Philip was engaged in preparing a 
draught for his royal patient, the king re- 
ceived a secret dispatch from his old general, 
Parmenio, informing him that Philip was a 
traitor and had been bribed by Darius to 
poison his king. While the letter was yet in 
Alexander's hands, the cup containing the 
draught was handed him by Philip. The 
king received the potion, and at the same 
time handed the dispatch to the physician. 
Observing no change in Philip's countenance 
as he read, Alexander without a word drank 
the potion, and the loyal attendant was soon 
gratified with a favorable change in his pa- 
tient. For once the faithful Parmenio had 
been misled by false information, which had 
well-nigh proved fatal both to the king and 
his physician. 

As soon as Alexander had sufficiently re- 
covered from his illness to resume the direc- 

tion of a&irs, he sent forward Parmenio to 
occupy the pass which led into Syria. This 
order was issued with the double view of pre- 
ventmg a like action on the part of Darius 
and of securing to himself an easy route into 
the Greater Asia. He himself made a brief 
campaign into the mountainous district of 
Cilicia. On his march thither he was sur- 
prised on coming to the city of Anchialus to 
observe the extent and magnificence of its 
fortifications and public buildings. It was 
here that the statue of Sardanapalus, the re- 
puted founder of the city, was found, still 
bearing that famous old Assyrian inscription, 
which th^ Greek scholars accompanying Alex- 
ander interpreted as follows: ''Sabdanapa- 


Leaving this place the conqueror proceeded 
to Sali, upon which he imposed a tribute of 
forty thousand pounds. Thence he made his 
way to Megarsus and MaUus. At the former 
place he made sacrifices in honor of Pallaa 
Athene ; and at the latter he won the people 
over to his cause by freeing them from the 
Persian tribute. Nor were the inhabitant* 
less ready to join his standard on account of 
their nationality, MaUus having been origi- 
nally founded by a colony of Argive Greeks. 

While Alexander tarried at Mallus intelli- 
gence arrived of the movements of Darius. 
The Great King had already crossed the Syr> 
ian plain, and was but two dajrs* march from 
that mountain pass which the Macedonians 
had already seized. The soldiers of the con- 
queror were eager to meet the enemy, and he 
quickly moved forward to the gateway lead- 
ing from Cilicia into Syria. It is related that 
at this juncture Darius was perplexed with 
contradictory counsels. The Greek ofi&cers in 
hi8 army advised him to tarry in the plain 
near where he was, and there receive the 
Macedonian onset, but the Persian generals 
urged the king to press forward to the foot- 
hills and drive his enemy back through the 
passes. The monarch followed the advice of 
neither implicitly, and of both in part. In- 
stead of going forward to the Syrian Gkite, 



DOW held by Alexander, he made a side 
movement to the right, and occupied another 
pass, known as the Amanic Grate. Having 
gained this entrance into Asia Minor, he 
passed through with his army and advanced 
as far as Issus, thus putting himself between 
Alexander and those countries which he had 
recently subdued. 

The Macedonians were agitated not a little 
on learning that the Great King was on the 
line of their communications. It is reported 
that Alexander was considerably exercised to 
prevent the spread of alarm among his gen- 
erals and soldiers; but he confidently asserted 
that of all courses which Darius could have 
taken the one chosen was to himself the most 
pleasing. He called the attention of his offi- 
cers to the fact that in the rougher country — 
rougher as compared with the Syrian plain — 
which the Persian had selected it would be 
impossible to display his vast army in full 
force or to use it efficiently. Here, said the 
conqueror, the cavalry of the enemy would 
be of no avail, and his light-armed troops, 
with their showers of missiles, could not be 
employed to advantage. As for himself, he 
knew that the immortal gods, ever favorable 
to the cause of the allied Greeks, must have 
inspired the Persian king to put himself in a 
position where he must be destroyed. Having 
thus reassured hb soldiers, he began a retro- 
grade movement through the Syrian Gate. 

The position now occupied by Darius was 
eminently favorable.^ A short distance from 
the western terminus of the pass out of which 
the Macedonians must come, flows the river 
Pinarus which, gathering its waters from the 
highlands, descends to the west and then turns 
southward in its course to the sea. The 
stream thus describes an arc the convexity of 
which was towards the west. On this side 
of the river the Persians were drawn up for 
battle, while the Macedonians, making their 
exit from the gate, must come up in the inner 
curve of the Pinarus and cross the stream in 
the face of the enemy. The one advantage 
of Alexander was that his army occupied the 
chord of an arc while the enemy was disposed 
on the rim of the circle. 

In arranging for battle the command of 

the Macedonian left, lying r<ext to the sea, 
was given to Parmenio. Opposed to him was 
the Persian cavalry. To face the Greeks in 
the army of Darius the phalanx was set in 
the center of the Macedonian line. The com- 
mand of the right Alexander reserved for 
himself. Opposite were the high grounds 
from which the Persians must be dislodged in 
case they should not themselves be unwise 
enough to descend into the plain for battle. 

The number of soldiers in the army of 
Darius has been variously stated. The old 
historians, with whom exaggeration — espe- 
cially of the numerical force of an enemy— 
was a habit, computed the Persian host at ^ 
half million of fighting men. More careftU 
authorities have reduced the number to 0P6 
hundred and forty thousand. Of these fi^ly 
thirty-five thousand were cavalry. To oppose 
this tremendous array Alexander had in all 
about forty thousand soldiers. 

After considerable maneuvering, in which 
both commanders appeared anxious lest by 
some misstep an advantage might be gained 
by the enemy, the battle began by the advance 
of the Persian right against Parmenio. Alex- 
ander had contemplated beginning the fight 
himself by assaulting the heights over against 
him, but when he saw that the battle was 
opening in another part of the field he dis- 
patched thither the Thessalian horse to assist 
his veteran general. But though thus weak- 
ened he forebore not to cross the stream and 
assail the Persian left. On both wings the 
charge of the Macedonians, though stoutly 
resisted, was successful, and the Persians were 
put to flight. In the center the phalanx 
crossed the river, and was met on, the other 
bank by those old Ionian Greek soldiers whom 
Memnon had trained in former years, and 
who were in an unnatural way fighting under 
the Persian banners. 

These men were of difiTerent mettle frorh 
the barbarians with whom they fought. They 
had the ancient valor of Greek soldiers, and 
felt no doubt some mortification that the pres- 
tige of their race was about to be transferred 
to the Macedonians. The latter on their part 
regarded their antagonists as traitors to the 
cause of the allied Greeks, and had, besides^ 



their own reputation to sustain as well as 
wrongs to be avenged in the ranks of their 
unnatural countrymen. Here, then, the bat- 
tle was furious and bloody. Hardly could 
the staggering phalanx make its way against 
the stubborn resistance of the Greek soldiers; 
nor is it certain which way victory in this 
part of the field would have inclined but for 
the overthrow of the Persian wings. 

The success of Alexander and Parmenio 
enabled them, especially the former, to fall 
upon the flanks of the Persian center, and 
the valiant soldiers who confronted the 
phalanx found themselves assailed from three 
directions. Under such assaults they began 
to lose ground, but such was their valor that 
they nearly all perished sooner than relinquish 
the field. It was in this part of the battle 
that Darius displayed conspicuous bravery. 
He urged forward his chariot into the thickest 
of the fight and encouraged his soldiers both 
by voice and example until his horses were 
cut down and himself almost taken by the 
Macedonians. Nothing but the courage of 
his brother Oxathres saved the king from 
capture or destruction. In the critical mo- 
ment the monarch was thrust into a fresh 
chariot and borne from the field. As usual 
in the great battles of the East the flight of 
the king was the signal for a universal rout. 
The ranks everywhere broke and fled precip- 
itately from the scene. Only the Persian 
cavalry on the right wing made a stand and 
fought as if to sustain their old-time fame for 
valor. Nor did they desist from their onsets 
until some time after the rout had become 
general in all other parts of the field. 

As soon as the flight b'^gan the Macedo- 
nians pressed hard upon the fugitives. Thou- 
sands were cut down in the panic and confu- 
sion. Alexander himself at the head of the 
cavalry bore down upon the flying foe and 
cut his broken ranks to pieces. His hope was 
to overtake and capture the king and thus 
end the business of the Empire. But Darius, 
after fleeing as far as he could in his chariot, 
mounted a horse and succeeded in escaping 
through the Amanic Gate. But so hot was 
the pursuit that the shield, bow, and cloak of 
the king were secured by Alexander. 

The losses of the Persians are differently 
stated by different authors. The lowest esti- 
mate, which is perhaps nearest the truth, 
places the number slain at about seventy thou- 
sand, and of the captives at forty thousand. 
Nor is there any trustworthy account of the 
loss sustained by the Macedonians. There ap- 
pears to have been an intent on the part of 
the Greek writers to gloss over the matter or 
to represent the list as insignificant. It is im- 
possible, however, but that a severe loss must 
have been inflicted on Alexander's army ; for 
the battle was long and obstinate, and the 
Ionian Greeks gave the phalanx blow for 
blow. It is known that Ptolemy and several 
other distinguished ofiScers were slain. 

The battle of Issus furnished several in- 
cidents which posterity has been pleased to 
preserve. When Alexander returned from 
his pursuit of Darius he learned that the 
family of that monarch, including his wife, 
his daughters, and his mother, were prisoners 
in the Macedonian camp. They were in the 
greatest agitation, believing that the king had 
been slain, and that they themselves would be 
dishonored and sold as slaves. Hearing of 
their distress, the conqueror at once sent his 
friend Leonatus to quiet their alarm, and to 
assure them that the king had made good his 
escape. They were informed that they should 
be treated not only with humanity, but with 
tnat courtesy which befitted their rank. The 
language attributed to Alexander sounds like 
a phrase of chivalry ; for he is reported to 
have said to the distracted princesses that 
towards the Great King he had no personal 
enmity at all — that he warred with him only 
because they could not both be ruler of Asia. 

On the following day the Macedonian, 
accompanied by his intimate friend Hephsos- 
tion, called in person at the tent which had 
been assigned to the captive women. When 
they were ushered into the presence of the 
royal household the princesses, mistaking the 
stately Hephsestion for Alexander, prostrated 
themselves before him and began to plead for 
commiseration. Hephsestion at once drew 
back and pointed to the king as the one to 
whom they should address themselves. Alex- 
ander at once relieved the embarrassment in 



a manner that would have done honor to a 
cruiiader. He told the queen that she had 
made no mistake; that Hephsestion was 
amaOver Alexander^ as worthy to be esteemed 
as himself/ 

In the mean time, one of the eunuchs in 
attendance upon the royal household made 
his escape and carried to Darius the story of 
the treatment accorded to his family. To him 
the thing seemed incredible. The great Orien- 
tal, believing in the essential badness of 
human nature, at once conjectured that hb 
beautiful queen had fascinated his adversary, 
and that that was the occasion of his clemency. 
Jealousy seized him, and he was in a transpt 
until his attendant informed him that the 
Macedonian was in no sense his rival — ^that 
his conduct towards the queen had been a 
sincere act of courtesy and consideration. 
Then the mood of Darius changed, and in 
great excitement he offered a prayer to the 
gods that if the empire of Asia should ever 
depart from himself it might fall to Alexander. 

Before he could follow up his victory, 
Alexander deemed it prudent to complete the 
conquest of Syria and Phoenicia. These Were 
the only two provinces remaining unsubdued 
in the western countries of the Greater Asia. 
The kipg dispatched Parmenio with one di- 
vision of the army against Damascus, the 
capital of Syria, while he himself with the 
other division advanced into Phoenicia. The 
first expedition was soon crowned with com- 
plete success. Damascus was taken without 
serious opposition. Parmenio also captured a 
number of agents who were employed by 
Darius in corresponding with the anti-Mace- 
donian party in Greece. From these Alex- 
ander learned the exact nature of the intrigues 
which were constantly hatched in Athens, 

' The comments of Arrian upon this incident 
are worthy to be repeated. *' T neither," says he, 
" relate [this circumstance] as truth nor condemn 
[it] as fiction. If it be true, the pity shown by 
Alexander to the women and the honor bestowed 
on his friend deserve commendation; whilst, if 
we supposed them feigned and only related as 
probabilities, it is honorable to him to have had 
such speeches and actions recorded by the writers 
of his own times, not only as being generally be- 
lieved, but as consonant with the character which 
he bore among his contemporaries " 

Thebes, and Sparta, with a view to compass- 
ing his overthrow. Upon these malcontent 
elements in the Greek states the intelligence 
of, the battle of Issus and of the capture of 
the Grseco-Persian spies fell like a cold bath. 

The knowledge that Alexander was abso- 
lutely master of the situation in all the western 
parts of Asia was disagreeable news to the re- 
actionists, who were endeavoring to sow the 
seeds of insurrection in the West Nor was 
the success of Parmenio at Damascus limited 
to the capture of the city and the emissaries. 
He likewise secured possession of the money- 
chest of Darius, out of whose abundant 
coffers the Western Greeks were to be per- 
suaded to favor the interests of Persia. Witli 
this sinew of war in the hands of the J^faoe- 
donians it was not likely that the lonians and 
continental Greeks would any longer so greatly 
prefer a Persian to a Macedonian ruler. 

In no part was the effect of the battle of 
Issus more distinctly felt than in Sparta. 
Agis, the Lacedaemonian king, still continued, 
even after the death of Memnon, to agitate 
measures un&vorable to Alexander. To sup- 
port this movement and disposition of the 
Spartans Darius had, on setting out with his 
army to meet the Macedonian, dispatched a 
fleet under Phamabazus and Antophradates 
to sail into the .£gean and cooperate with the 
Peloponnesians in a proposed expedition 
against Macedonia. The squadron reached 
the shores of Southern Greece, and Agis was 
busily engaged in preparing for the northern 
invasion when the news came of the victory 
of Alexander at Issus. Of a sudden the Per- 
sian commanders came to the conclusion that 
there was need for them in Asia. They ac- 
cordingly dropped away as quickly as possible, 
and returned with the fleet to Persian waters. 
Great was the relief of Alexander when he 
learned of the collapse of the proposed descent 
on the coasts of Macedonia. 

In the mean time the conqueror was pro* 
ceeding to lay siege to Tjre. It was consid- 
ered of the first importance that this great 
maritime city, from which the fleets of Persia 
were supplied with whatever gave them 
strength and efficiency, should be converted 
into a Macedonian dependency. While Alex* 



ander was on h